The Deserter


A new edition of the classic novel by Douglas LePan.

Returned from the ravages of war, met with a city that offers him only despair, a young man finds himself caught between two opposed worlds — the ordered but empty everyday life of “schedules and obligations,” and the hellish chaos of the city’s underside, a dark world of brutality and vice. Gripped with a restless passion for perfection, haunted by a brief and idealized experience of love, the hero of this poetic, experimental novel lives out in a modern context that most universal of myths, the descent into the underworld to experience initiations and ordeals, returning with new understanding to the upper world.


Governor General’s Award for Fiction

About the Authors

Douglas LePan

Posted by KathrynB on June 5, 2018

Douglas LePan

Douglas LePan was a veteran of the Second World War. He won Governor General’s Awards for poetry for his collection The Net and the Sword (1953) and for fiction for his only novel, The Deserter (1964). He was made an Officer of the Order of Canada in 1998.

Michael Gnarowski

Posted by KathrynB on October 30, 2014

Michael Gnarowski

Michael Gnarowski co-edited The Making of Modern Poetry in Canada, compiled The Concise Bibliography of English Canadian Literature, and edited the Critical Views on Canadian Writers series for McGraw-Hill Ryerson. Gnarowski is professor emeritus at Carleton University in Ottawa.