The legend behind such songs as "Suzanne," "Bird on the Wire"
and "Hallelujah" andthe poet and novelist behind such
groundbreaking literary works as Beautiful Losers and Book of
Mercy, Leonard Cohen is one of the most important and influential
artists of our era, a man of powerful emotion and intelligence
whose work has explored the definitive issues of human life--sex,
religion, power, meaning, love. Cohen is also a man of complexities
and seeming contradictions: a devout Jew, who is also a
sophisticate and ladies' man, as well as an ordained Buddhist monk
whose name, Jikan--"ordinary silence"--is quite the appellation for
a writer and singer whose life has been anything but ordinary.
I'm Your Man is the definitive account of that extraordinary
life. Acclaimed music journalist Sylvie Simmons crafts a portrait
of Cohen as nuanced as the man himself, drawing on a wealth of
research that includes Cohen's personal archives and more than a
hundred exclusive interviews with those closest to Cohen--from his
lovers, friends, monks, professors, rabbis and fellow musicians to
his muses, including Rebecca De Mornay, Marianne Ihlen, Suzanne
Elrod and Suzanne Verdal--and most important, with Cohen himself,
whose presence infuses these pages.
Starting in Montreal, Cohen's birthplace, where he first found
fame as a poet in the fifties, Simmons follows his trail, via
London and the Greek island of Hydra, to New York in the sixties,
where he launched his music career. From there she traces the arc
of his prodigious achievements to his remarkable retreat in the
mid-nineties--when on the cusp of marriage to a beautiful actress
and enjoying the success of his best-selling album to date, he
entered a monastery on a rocky mountaintop above Los Angeles--and
finally to his reemergence for a sold-out world tour almost fifteen
years later. Whether navigating Cohen's journeys through the back
streets of Mumbai or the countless hotel rooms where he has stayed
along the way, Simmons explores with equal focus every complex,
contradictory strand of Cohen's life--from the halls of academia to
the arenas of rock 'n' roll--and presents a deeply insightful
portrait of both the artist and the man whose vision, spirit, depth
and talent continue to move people like no one else.
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