Mohrbooks Literary Agency
Published by
Coach House (2015-11)
Current material
Final Pages
Original language


by Akler, Howard

Reflection on Howard Akler's father and the complicated texture of consciousness.

After his father, Saul, undergoes brain surgery and slips into a coma, Howard Akler begins to reflect on Saul's life, the complicated texture of consciousness and Akler's struggles with writing and his own unpredictable mind. With echoes of Paul Auster's The Invention of Solitude and Philip Roth's Patrimony, Men of Action treads the line between memoir and meditation, and is at once elegiac, spare, and profoundly intimate.

Howard Akler is the author of The City Man, which was nominated for the Amazon First Novel Award, the City of Toronto Book Award, and the Commonwealth Writers Prize. He lives in Toronto, Ontario.

Available rights (1)

Language Territory Type Vendor Status
German World All

Mohrbooks Literary Agency
Annelie Geissler

Available View on Rightsdesk


Like Harley J. Spiller’s Keep the Change, Howard Akler’s Men of Action similarly compresses a great deal — whole lives — into a very few pages ... As might be expected, Men of Action delves into the father-son relationship, while also encompassing the father’s life, the parents’ marriage and the son’s youth in Toronto, where Mr. Akler still lives. But its more submerged subject is the act of writing itself, which is demonstrated with the carefully observed, resonant economy of poetry

Review: The New York Times, Holiday 2015 Gift Guide

What makes someone who they are? What details and actions explain their inner thoughts? What moments matter in the telling of a life? These are futile questions, but what matters is that Akler is asking them in a way we haven’t previously seen. Men of Action not only gracefully succeeds in depicting the nature of human tragedy, but the inherent failures of language to capture it. The book’s brevity is its strength – a genuine testament to the writer’s talent that he is able to take us so far with so little.

Review: The Globe and Mail

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