Leonard Cohen, Untold Stories: The Early Years

Leonard Cohen, Untold Stories: The Early Years

By Michael Posner
496 Pages
October 2020

 The extraordinary life of one of the world’s greatest music and literary icons, in the words of those who knew him best.

Poet, novelist, singer-songwriter, artist, prophet, icon—there has never been a figure like Leonard Cohen. He was a true giant in contemporary western culture, entertaining and inspiring people everywhere with his work. From his groundbreaking and bestselling novels,The Favourite Game and Beautiful Losers, to timeless songs such as “Suzanne,” “Dance Me to the End of Love,” and “Hallelujah,” Cohen is a cherished artist. His death in 2016 was felt around the world by the many fans and followers who would miss his warmth, humour, intellect, and piercing insights.

Leonard Cohen, Untold Stories chronicles the full breadth of his extraordinary life. The first of three volumes—The Early Years—follows him from his boyhood in Montreal to university, and his burgeoning literary career to the world of music, culminating with his first international tour in 1970.

Through the voices of those who knew him best—family and friends, colleagues and contemporaries, rivals, business partners, and his many lovers—the book probes deeply into both Cohen’s public and private life. It also paints a portrait of an era, the social, cultural, and political revolutions that shook the 1960s.

In this revealing and entertaining first volume, bestselling author and biographer Michael Posner draws on hundreds of interviews to reach beyond the Cohen of myth and reveal the unique, complex, and compelling figure of the real man.

A Globe and Mail Top 100 Book of 2020

“Posner undertook dozens and dozens of interviews . . . creating a unique oral history, as if they’re in a room together, sharing memories and stories. . . . They’re linked together with a light narrative voice that gives this biography a very intimate and personal feel.”
— Toronto Star

“Posner masterfully weaves the story of the iconic musician’s life through hundreds of interviews with the people who knew him best, including family members, business partners, and lovers alike.”
— Chatelaine

“Leonard Cohen’s posthumous album in 2019 proved he still had something profound to say, even in death. This book likewise confirms that hundreds of others have their own tales to tell about the master songwriter. The first of three volumes, it covers his early life via a myriad of fascinating interviewees, from rabbis to lovers. . . . Give it to anyone who misses Cohen.”
— Evening Standard