Beautiful Losers

Publisher: Emblem Editions
One of the best-known experimental novels of the 1960s, Beautiful Losers is Cohen’s most defiant and uninhibited work. The novel centres upon the hapless members of a love triangle united by their sexual obsessions and by their fascination with Catherine Tekakwitha, the 17th-century Mohawk saint.

By turns vulgar, rhapsodic, and viciously witty, Beautiful Losers explores each character’s attainment of a state of self-abandonment, in which the sensualist cannot be distinguished from the saint.


1. According to the dust jacket copy of the first edition of Beautiful Losers (which Cohen had a hand in writing), this novel is “a wild and alarming journey through the landscape of the soul” of an elderly Montréal scholar in the 1960s who tries to heal his loneliness and despair by finding ...

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“Fuses sexuality with spirituality… mystical and profane, poetic and obscene … an invitation to play Russian roulette with a phallic pistol.”
Kirkus Reviews

“Cohen is a writer of terrific energy and colour, a Rabelaisian comic and a visualizer of memorable scenes.”
London Observer (U.K.)

“Brilliant, explosive, a fountain of talent.… James Joyce is not dead … he lives under the name of Cohen … writing from the point of view of Henry Miller.”
Boston Herald

“A fantasied eroticism which is wildly funny.… An exciting book.”
Sunday Times (U.K.)

“The literary counterpart of Hair on the stage and Easy Rider on the screen.”
Daily Telegraph (U.K.)

“Leaves one gasping for breath as well as suitable words.… Cohen is a powerful, poetic writer.”
Dallas Times Herald