A new biography about Glenn Gould from Penguin Books, available September 22, 2009.

Philosopher and critic Mark Kingwell regards Gould as a philosopher of music whose ideas about music governed his life. But those ideas were contradictory, mischievous, and deliberately provocative. In his new biography, Extraordinary Canadians: Glenn Gould (Viking Canada; $26; September 22, 2009), Kingwell adopts a kaleidoscopic approach rather than a single narrative line to explain the musician. Just as Gould played twenty-one “takes” to record the opening aria in the famed 1955 Goldberg Variations, Kingwell offers twenty-one “takes” on Gould’s life. Each version offers a different interpretation of the man, but in each, Kingwell is sensitive to the complex harmonies and dissonances that sounded throughout the life of the great Gould. 

Kingwell’s biography is part of the Extraordinary Canadians series published by Penguin Group (Canada), an 18 part biography series that features Canadians from the mid-1800s onward who changed the country or changed the way Canadians thought about themselves. A stellar list of Canadian authors interpret great men and women explaining why they mattered then and why they matter now.