Recently Discovered Final Page Completes Alden Nowlan Novel
First published posthumously in 1988, The Wanton Troopers is Alden Nowlan’s passionate and shocking first novel about a young boy approaching adulthood on the eve of the Second World War. Recovered in the editorial process while preparing this new edition was the original last page of the manuscript. Never before published, this new page completes the novel for the first time.
Set in a small Nova Scotia mill town, The Wanton Troopers is the story of Kevin O?Brien and his hunger for opportunity. In unusually stark prose, Kevin observes his beloved mother?s betrayal and grows to recognize, if not to fully understand, adult pathos and the yearnings of the heart. In this essential domestic novel, Nowlan depicts both painful intensity and poignancy in Kevin?s relationships with the mother he adores, his violent father, and his conflicted grandmother. Nowlan?s treatment of family relationships, sexual confusions, and the pains of love are direct, authentic, and affective.
The Wanton Troopers shows Nowlan in full flight as a storyteller, as a prose stylist with unique turns of phrase and an unusual perspective, and as the national treasure that he would later become. An essential book for those many readers who have admired the poems and stories of Alden Nowlan, The Wanton Troopers is now available for the first time in its complete form, with additional material to contribute to its enjoyability ? an afterword by David Adams Richards, an extended biographical note by Nowlan biographer Patrick Toner, and an abridged version of Nowlan?s last major interview, which later became the award-winning National Film Board documentary directed by Jon Pederson.