It was announced last week that a previously unpublished book by Leonard Cohen—rejected by two publishers and then set aside—will be published this October by Grove Press. The novel, A Ballet of Lepers, will be published with fifteen short stories and a radio play script from Cohen’s archives, assembled by Cohen scholar Alexandra Pleshoyano.
A Ballet of Lepers, written in 1956, explores “toxic relationships and the lengths one will go to maintain them.” The story follows an unamed narrator who takes in his elderly grandfather. The publication of A Ballet of Lepers: A Novel and Stories coincides with Cohen’s wishes. Cohen said before his death that his life’s true masterwork was his archive, which he kept meticulously for the benefit of fans and scholars one day to discover. Robert Kory, trustee of the Leonard Cohen family trust, wrote in a statmeent. “I’m pleased that, with this book, his readers and listeners can begin that rich journey.”
Makes me wonder if he also waited until after his death because he wanted to wait until those he wrote about were also dead.