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ISBN – 978-1-897475-63-8
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Blurb about the book:
Morgan has written a book that is highly original and beautifully executed. The balance between the Roman world and the modern world is maintained with skill and adroitness, and the narrative is deftly woven through both of these time periods, never faltering or losing momentum.
The Last Stoic is a fascinating, parallel look at two societies that are not, as it turns out, as different or distinct as one might think.
Author of four books of poetry and five novels.
Winner of the Rogers Writers' Trust Fiction Prize
and the Lambda Prize for Fiction.
The Last Stoic is a story about appetite and fear, both modern and ancient. Half of the story’s narrative occurs in the time and place of the ancient Roman Empire; the other half occurs in the present-day United States. A central conceit of the novel is that the parallels between the two eras are so strong that the narrative can continue uninterrupted as the setting shifts from historic Rome to modern America, alternating from chapter to chapter.
Marcus, a young man from a northern provincial border town, journeys deep into the heart of the empire and witnesses first-hand the excesses that can lead to ruin, both personal and political. His story offers an ancient commentary on the preoccupations of our own turbulent times.
Shortly after his arrival, the empire is thrown into a panic by an unprecedented barbarian attack on the capital. Suspicion and paranoia abound. A young Roman/American runaway named Patrick, disillusioned with his own life and the state of his country, becomes convinced that Marcus is a dangerous traitor. Culminating in a public accusation made by Patrick, Marcus is wrongfully imprisoned, exiled and tortured as an enemy of the state. In prison, he confronts the many contradictions he has found in his adopted home, and in himself.
Throughout the story, in both eras, the writings of the philosopher-emperor Marcus Aurelius (The Meditations) insinuate themselves unexpectedly into Marcus’ life. In prison, he is saved by a chance meeting with Sextus Condianus, the “last Stoic” of the title, a cell-mate who is able to fully recite Aurelius’ words and impart their wisdom. Ultimately, it is this unanticipated and unbidden instruction that gives the young man the strength he requires to survive. It becomes evident that the words of the venerable Stoic emperor have as much relevance to our own era as they did to his.
Here is a link worth looking at - it is a great
Here is a link worth looking at - it is a great review -Then and now By Greg Burliuk, from The Kingston Whig-Standard, Oct. 1, 2011
Morgan Wade grew up in the farm country an hour north of Toronto.
At 19, after reading Kerouac’s On the Road, he and a friend set out to circumnavigate the continent, travelling from Toronto to New York City and down the eastern seaboard, living and sleeping in a temperamental Pontiac Phoenix SJ. They spent two educational weeks at Mardi Gras, working the parades as carnies, selling firecrackers and cotton candy. From New Orleans they rolled into Brownsville, Texas, Acapulco, and then on to Palm Springs, where the Phoenix finally gasped its last. The pair continued by bus to L.A. and to Vancouver where Morgan eventually found work in an upscale restaurant.
After briefly contemplating a career as a chef, he left the west coast to study literature and philosophy at McMaster and Dalhousie Universities, attaining a Master’s. Upon discovering the financial limitations of philosophy as a vocation, he trained as a software engineer and left Halifax at the height of the technology boom for stints in Boston, MA and Austin, TX.
Morgan studied under novelist Michael Helm at The Humber School For Writers. His other writings include occasional Op-Ed articles for the local Kingston magazine Independent Voice and a satirical play produced for the Halifax Fringe Festival. His short story, The Solitaire, won an honourable mention in the Niagara Branch of the Canadian Authors Association Annual Short Story Competition and was published in their Ten Miles High anthology October, 2010. The Last Stoic is his debut novel.
Morgan now lives next to the best fresh-water sailing in the world, in Kingston, Ontario, Canada, with his wife and son, and a cat named Mabel. When he isn’t writing, he is learning the difference between a genoa and a jib.
At present, Morgan works from home as a software engineer, residing in Kingston, Ontario with his wife and son. He has Bachelor’s (McMaster University) and Master’s (Dalhousie University) degrees in Philosophy and he likes to read and write works that ponder the bigger questions. His short story, The Solitaire, won an honourable mention in the Niagara Branch of the Canadian Authors Association Annual Short Story Competition and was published in their Ten Miles High anthology October, 2010. The Last Stoic is his debut novel.
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