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By Lee Henderson

“In its ambition, iconoclasm, and accomplishment The Man Game is reminiscent of Mordecai Richler’s great, ribald epic Solomon Gursky Was Here. Lee Henderson invents a history of Vancouver, Canada, and frontier life that satisfies and defies expectations as only the best fiction can. The Man Game is an extraordinary book written by a young writer who possesses remarkable powers of observation, description, and empathy. ”
-David Bezmozgis, author of The Betrayers and Natasha and Other Stories


Henderson_The Man Game

On a recent Vancouver Sunday afternoon, a young man stumbles upon a secret sport invented more than a century before, at the birth of his city. Thus begins The Man Game, Lee Henderson’s epic tale of love requited and not, that crosses the contemporary and historical in an extravagant, anarchistic retelling of the early days of a pioneer town on the edge of the known world.

In 1886, out of the smouldering ashes of the great fire that destroyed much of the city, Molly Erwagen- former vaudeville performer- arrives from Toronto with her beloved husband, Samuel, to start a new life. Meanwhile, Litz and Pisk, two lumberjacks exiled after the fire, and blamed for having started it, are trying to clear their names. Before long, they’ve teamed up with Molly to invent a new sport that will change the course of that fledging city’s history.

“A work of magnificent clowning. If Canadian literature is a mopey scene, Lee Henderson is its true and twisted jester.”
-Sheila Heti, author of The Middle Stories and Ticknor

“Amazing. Completely surprising, yet entirely captivating.”
-Timothy Taylor, author of Storyhouse

“A young man stumbles upon a secret sport in this epic tale of pioneer Vancouver. The parallel historical narrative is populated by a grizzled crew who spout a foul-mouthed, distinctly Canadian dialect, their lives brightened only by vice and violence. This is the sort of sprawling, innovative, exhilarating yet quintessentially Canadian novel many of us have been waiting for. An absolute triumph.”
-Globe 100 Best Book

“… an oddly comic, often grotesque panorama of city life like something out of Bosch – or Pynchon…
The Man Game is as brilliant and twisted as a funhouse mirror, and Henderson is a wildly seductive ringmaster.”
Quill & Quire

“This is the sort of sprawling, innovative, exhilarating yet quintessentially Canadian novel that many of us have been waiting for. The Man Game is an absolute triumph.”
The Globe and Mail

“Once this novel draws you in, it keeps hold of you till the end…The Man Game comes to life and moves to its own rhythms.”
Toronto Star

“As a work of speculative historical fiction, as a study in the nature of unrequited love, as a song of praise to the power the objects of our affections wield, The Man Game becomes more than a ripping good yarn; it’s a stunning achievement.”
Winnipeg Free Press

“This is not your mom’s historical novel… It’s clear that Lee Henderson is very clever and immensely talented.”
The Vancouver Sun


Penguin, Canada, 2008


Shortlisted for the Rogers Writers’ Trust Fiction Prize

Globe 100 Best Book, 2008

National Post Top 10 Book, 2008

Winner of the B.C. Book Prize

Winner of the 2009 Vancouver Book Award

Other Books by Lee Henderson