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David Bergen Books In Order

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Publication Order of Standalone Novels

A Year of Lesser (1997)Description / Buy at Amazon
See the Child (1999)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Case of Lena S (2002)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Time In Between (2005)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Retreat (2008)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Matter With Morris (2010)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Age of Hope (2012)Description / Buy at Amazon
Leaving Tomorrow (2014)Description / Buy at Amazon
Stranger (2016)Description / Buy at Amazon
Out of Mind (2021)Description / Buy at Amazon

Publication Order of Collections

Sitting Opposite My Brother (1993)Description / Buy at Amazon
Here the Dark (2020)Description / Buy at Amazon

Publication Order of Anthologies

The Scotiabank Giller Prize 15 Years: An Anthology of Prize-Winning Canadian Fiction.(2008)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Audlib Project: Home 2020(2021)Description / Buy at Amazon

David Bergen is a critically acclaimed and bestselling author of literary fiction from Winnipeg, Canada. Bergen was born in British Columbia in 1957, but spent much of his childhood in Niverville, Manitoba having arrived there as a twelve-year-old. Thereafter, he went to Red River College after which he became a tutor of Creative Writing and English at Kelvin High School in Winnipeg. Neil Besner of the University of Winnipeg has called him one of the most prominent authors from Manitoba as every work he has penned has ended up winning him an award. He made his debut with the CBC Literary Prize-winning short story “How Can Men Share a Bottle of Vodka” and then followed it up with “Sitting Opposite My Brother,” a collection of short fiction that was the winner of the 1993 Hirsch Award. He made his debut into long-form fiction with the publishing of the McNally Robinson and New York Times Notable Book award-winning title “A Year of Lesser” in 1997. Other awards for subsequent novels would follow including the Margaret Lawrence and the Giller Prize, which is one of the most prestigious awards for fiction in Canada. While he is a critically acclaimed author both abroad and in Canada he is a down to earth and modest man that will often be found riding his bike to his writing studio in the Exchange District of Winnipeg.

Bergen’s interest in fiction began when he was a child. He read a lot of Zane Grey during this time and asserts that it is what got him hooked on fiction. Recently, he visited his daughter and found an old copy of “Riders of the Purple Sag”e in her library and felt the old emotions from childhood coming back. He always wanted to be Zane Grey as a preteen, and hence wrote purple prose in stories set in mountain passes and escarpments teeming with cactuses and buttes. As a teenager, he graduated with a creative communications degree from Red River College before proceeding to The University of Winnipeg for his degree in Education. He decided to pursue a bachelor’s degree as he believed studying education gave him a chance to ask more questions. Between 2002 and 2003, he was Winnipeg Centennial Library’s Writer in Residence. It was during this time that he learned that to be a successful writer calls for tenacity, hard work, and sometimes a bit of luck and novel ideas. Ultimately, he writes novels that provide whole and fresh perspectives while being unpretentious and genuine.

While he is best known as an author, he has worked in all manner of trades. He has been a high school teacher, brick layer’s assistant, orderly, carpenter, and spent several months volunteering in South East Asia. David Bergen spent three years in Thailand as a tutor of English as a second language to Vietnamese refugees seeking to move to Canada. After coming back home, his attention was captured by a novel by Bao Ninh a Vietnamese author titled “The Sorrow of War.” Set in 1975, it was a harrowing tale of the war in North Vietnam that got him interested in Vietnam once again. He went back to Vietnam to track down the author and ended up staying in the country for six months. During this time, he filled his notebooks with his experiences that would form the basis for his fourth novel “The Time in Between” that would also win several awards. By 2020, Bergen had at least nine novels and two collections of short stories. He is now married to Mary Loewen and the family has settled down in Winnipeg from where he writes his novels.

“A Year of Lesser” by David Bergen is a scintillating novel about Lorraine and Johnny. The latter is so infatuated with Loraine that her touch always sends shockwaves down his spine. But things get complicated when she says that she is expecting his child. He is an almost born again Christian, part-time love to Loraine and still recovering alcoholic that indulges from time to time. In addition to the pregnancy, Johnny also has to think about where Charlene his wife fits into his intricate life of truth, desires, and love triangles. He does not know where Loraine’s teenage son Chris and his pregnant girlfriend Melody belong in his life as a lover, husband, and star volunteer at the teen drop-in center in town. He has been working as a salesman selling animal feed for years, a mundane job that forces him to find truth and beauty in the warm flesh of several women. His wife’s fiery and final truth is her inability to reconcile herself with the profligate morality Johnny so readily gives himself up to.

David Bergen’s “See the Child” is the story of Paul Unger, a man devastated by the death of his son. He had been spending some time alone in his house when Harry the local cop knocks on his door with terrible news – his son Stephen just drowned. He is filled with grief that transports him to an unfamiliar and dark place. The story is a surprising analysis of the loss and love between grandchild and grandfather, woman and man, and child and parent. Paul had the life he had always dreamed about but once his son got involved with Nicole, a young provocative woman, things had started to unravel. His son is now gone and he feels a sense of guilt for not protecting him. Several years later, Nicole is back in town and has a kid who could just be Unger’s grandchild and he starts contemplating welcoming them back into his life. Set in small-town Montana and Manitoba, it is a beautiful rendition of indelible portraits of people trying to reconcile themselves to changing circumstances. Bergen tells the story of Paul a man that is struggling to leave the past behind; Sky who reminds Paul of his dead son; the gun-toting lumberjack Wyatt who wants to take Sky and Nicole; and Lise who cannot understand why Paul her husband of many years wants to leave her.

Bergen’s “The Case of Lena” is the story of the life and times of Mason Crowe, a sixteen-year-old. The tale follows him in a year in which he comes to terms with what the world is all about. He gets involved with a troubled girl named Lena that has decided to teach him lessons in despair and desire. Vulnerable, provocative, sad, and impulsive, she haunts Mason in many infuriating ways. She is an older girl that had been set to get into an arranged marriage and who now becomes his first love. We also get to meet an erudite and wise man with a voyeuristic man that employs Mason to read for him while his mother moves in with a lover he hates. The story is written with deadpan and playful humor, brilliantly capturing the yearnings of youth in addition to the bewildering absurdities and alluring possibilities inherent in close relationships.

Book Series In Order » Authors » David Bergen

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