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East York people, places, events & insights

EY songwriter’s debut novel shows he’s not just a brilliant lyricist

– By Gary 17 –

As I’ve written elsewhere, I’ve long known that East York songwriter Kyp Harness is a lyrical genius.

Kyp Harness -GARY 17

Kyp Harness -GARY 17

His trenchant, take-no-prisoners politicized Folk-Rock ballads are, as another musical bright light, Ron Sexsmith, has observed, “every bit as powerful as Dylan, Cohen and Lennon combined.”

I’ve been a fan of his vivid, biting and strangely catchy tunes for over 20 years now —as are several gifted TO songsmiths who three years ago, under the direction of Bobby Wiseman, combined to craft an album of covers of his songs.

I also came to also appreciate Harness’s literary talents a few years ago while I was editor of another local publication, for which he wrote a couple of very amusing satirical pieces. Turns out, I also learned at the time, he’s also written two tomes of film analysis. A multi-talented fellow indeed! Wigford Rememberies 2

But all that didn’t prepare me for the sheer brilliance of his debut literary work, “Wigford Rememberies”, which he calls a novel but which really is a kind of daring, elegiac series of vignettes and an x-ray of the modern soul that is every bit as eviscerating as any of his more savage songs.

This is a remarkably beautiful but haunting work and stylistically audacious. It’s as if James Joyce, William Faulkner, Ernest Hemingway and Malcolm Lowry collaborated on a literary portrait of a fictional small town —with maybe a little Rod Serling thrown in.

This can be a challenging read at times —paragraphs, even sentences, go on for scores of lines or even multiple pages. But the sweeping susurrations of the practically poetic, poignant writing will keep you captivated and what plot there is is gripping.

You can buy it in soft cover or ebook online at amazon.ca or visit kypharness.net.

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