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Leonard Cohen prolific in swinging sixties

The Story

The 1960s, on the Greek island of Hydra, is Leonard Cohen's most productive period as a writer. He completes two best-selling novels. The first, titled The Favourite Game (1963) is a heavily autobiographical portrait of an artist growing up in Montreal. The second is the highly-acclaimed Beautiful Losers (1966). During this time he also publishes two more collections of poetry, Flowers For Hitler (1964) and Parasites of Heaven (1966). In this "rather strange interview" for CBC Radio's Assignment in 1963, Cohen talks about poetry and the "sleazy hotel" in Toronto that helps him write it when he's feeling uninspired.

Medium: Radio
Program: Assignment
Broadcast Date: Dec. 19, 1963
Guest: Leonard Cohen
Host: Bill McNeil
Duration: 5:18

Did You know?

• In 1960, Leonard Cohen bought a house on the Greek island of Hydra for $1,500. He still owns that house and returns to Hydra from time to time.
• Cohen told a BBC Television crew that he wrote the song Bird on a Wire because that's what he saw out the window from his home in Hydra.



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