Set in Vancouver in the mid-1960s, Mirror on the Floor focuses on one summer in the life of UBC grad student Bob Small and his roommate, George Delsing.
They spend their time carousing the downtown eastside and engaging in conversations with the old-timers – dockworkers, unemployed loggers, and retired seamen. They study, smoke cigarettes, endure tedious summer jobs, bombard one another with philosophical banter, and strike out on near nightly adventures in Small’s “poor old over-traveled yellow Morris Minor” to the pubs and late-night diners up and down East Hastings and along Main Street.
And it is on one such evening that Bob Small encounters a mysterious and troubled young woman outside the city lock-up. Her name is Andrea and he can’t seem to shake—or understand—the inexplicable attraction he feels for her; and from this night on, like a smoky apparition, Andrea is everywhere: the library, the coffee houses, the bars, the street, and Bob Small is slowly and inevitably pulled into her orbit, an orbit that spins on a tragic and ever-tightening inward coil.
Mirror on the Floor vividly evokes the Vancouver of the mid- to late-1960s, a Vancouver where neon signs still shimmered on the rain-soaked streets and Theatre Row bustled with excited movie-goers.
Originally published in 1967 by McClelland and Stewart, Mirror on the Floor was the first novel from an emerging young writer named George Bowering. Now with over 100 publications to his credit, we are proud to be reissuing Bowering’s debut novel.
George Bowering is a distinguished novelist, poet, editor, professor, historian and tireless supporter of fellow writers. He has authored more than one hundred books and chapbooks, including works of poetry, fiction, autobiography, biography and fiction for young readers. His writing has been translated into French, Spanish, Italian, German, Chinese and Romanian. His novel, Burning Water, won the Governor General’s award for fiction and his memoir, Pinboy, was short-listed for the BC National Award for non-fiction in 2013. George Bowering is a two-time recipient of the Governor General’s Award, Canada’s top literary prize, and served as Canada’s first Parliamentary Poet Laureate. He is an Officer of both the Order of Canada and the Order of British Columbia.