MP 15 – Return of the Sphinx by Hugh MacLennan

Return of the Sphinx by Hugh MacLennan (Macmillan Paperbacks 15) front coverReturn of the Sphinx

From the Back Cover:

“Return of the Sphinx is a novel that few can afford to miss reading” – Louis Dudek, Montreal Gazette

“Masterly….anyone who wants to know about Canada ought to read it.” – Edmund Wilson

Since its publication in 1967, many of the events predicted in this novel – including revolutionary violence in Quebec – have come to pass. Even the title was a prophecy: in the old Greek legend the Sphinx made the cities sick, tore families asunder, and set sons against fathers and daughters against mothers.

Set in Montreal and Ottawa, the book continues the theme of Two Solitudes. From that book we meet again Alan Ainslie, idealist, patriot, and intellectual, who has special insight into Russian policy. This time, however, the theme is the conflict between Ainslie and his son Daniel, a young Quebec separatist. The theme of generational conflict is broadened by the tender love affair between young Chantal Ainslie and Gabriel Fleury, her father’s friend and contemporary.

These great themes are handled brilliantly in what the English critic A. L. Rowse called “a deeply Canadian book…a novel as powerful and convincing as it I rich in character and colour.”

Hugh MacLennan, one of Canada’s greatest novelists, is the winner of five Governor General’s Awards. In the Macmillan Paperbacks series are two of his other novels, Two Solitudes and The Watch that Ends the Night.

Leave a Reply