I'm Your Man: The Life of Leonard Cohen

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9780061994982: I'm Your Man: The Life of Leonard Cohen

The genius behind such classic songs as Suzanne, Bird on the Wire and Hallelujah, Leonard Cohen has been one of the most important and influential songwriters of our time, a man of spirituality, emotion, and intelligence whose work has explored the definitive issues of human life - sex, religion, power, meaning, love. Yet before he even began recording, Cohen was an accomplished literary figure whose poetry and novels brought him considerable recognition. His dual careers in music and literature have transformed one another, his songs revealing a literary quality rare in the world of popular music, and his poetry and prose informed by a rich musicality. I'm Your Man explores the facets of Cohen's life - from his early childhood in Montreal, to his entree into the worlds of literature and music, his immersion in Jewish culture, obsession with Christian imagery, and deep commitment to Buddhist detachment - including the five years he spent at a monastery outside of Los Angeles and his ordainment as a Rinzai Zen Buddhist Monk. Sylvie Simmons draws on Cohen's private archives and a wealth of interviews with many of his closest associates, colleagues, and other artists whose work he has inspired, as well as professors, Buddhist monks and rabbis, to share stories and details never before revealed, and correct mistakes propounded in previous works. Unlike other biographies, I'm Your Man gives equal time to Cohen's poetry and prose and balances his intellectual and religious sides. The result is this deeply insightful, well-rounded portrait of an artist whose reach, vision, and incredible talent has had a profound impact on multiple generations and who continues to create magic today.

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Review:

"Cohen gets the music biography he truly deserves (5 stars)." Mojo "The year's most meticulous, elegant and satisfying rock book." -- Ben Thompson Independent "Simmons' clear affection for her subject helps to illuminate Cohen's motivations and working methods and gives an intriguing insight into his singular mind." -- Ian Critchley Sunday Times "Simmons approaches her subject intelligently, and without a trace of the hysteria that Cohen so often inspires... If you weren't familiar with Cohen, I'm Your Man would read like a beautifully plotted piece of fiction, with an extraordinary and bewitching character at its centre." -- Fiona Sturgess Independent on Sunday "Simmons situates her subject well both in the Jewish tradition (if not a singer he would have made a fantastic Rabbi) and in his generation." -- Richard Godwin Evening Standard

Book Description:

'There is a crack in everything.

That's how the light gets in.'

Leonard Cohen

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