Ira B. Nadel. Various Positions: A Life of Leonard Cohen. Random House of Canada, 1996.
Thanks to my friend Nancy for lending me her copy of this biography. She beat me to it at Baker Books, so it is still on my TO FIND list.
Nadel's is a very different approach from the recent musical bio A Remarkable Life I just read. I must say that there are things in this book, Various Positions, which I wish I did not know. The drug use, depression, sexual obsessions (females as object and muse, reminiscent of Picasso), and the artist's painful struggle - the tensions between everyday family/business life and literary calling and spiritual yearning. It seems to me that it is we, the loyal fans, who are the winners here.
A lot has happened in the 20 years since the publication of this book, including 9/11 and the 2010 Olympics. The best for me is the fact that Leonard is still with us, and still gracing us with regular new releases including: Popular Problems, and Can't Forget.