Written by Graeme Gibson
Introduction by Sean Kane
Publication Date January 01, 2003
First published by Anansi in 1969, Five Legs was a breakthrough for Canadian experimental fiction, selling 1,000 copies in its first week. At the time Scott Symons wrote that "Five Legs has more potent writing in it, page for page, than any other young Canadian novel that I can think of." Or indeed any young American novel — including Pynchon and Farina.
Five Legs is the subversive tale of two guilt-ridden young men, Lucan Crackell and Felix Oswald — one a professor, the other his student — caught in the grip of the North American Protestant ethic, with its emotional web-spinning and sexual torments. Gibson captures both their mortifications and their spirited resistance to all things WASP, themselves included, in stream-of-consciousness prose that is at once fluid, disjointed, and hilarious. Essential reading for any Canlit junkie, and quite a trip. This edition features a new introduction by Sean Kane.
Graeme Gibson is the acclaimed author of Five Legs, Communion, Perpetual Motion, and Gentleman Death. He is a long-time cultural activist, and co-founder of the Writer's Union of Canada and the Writers' Trust. He is a past president of PEN Canada and the recipient of both the Harbourfront Festival Prize and the Toronto Arts Award, and is a Member of the Order of Canada. He lives in Toronto.