Thursday, January 21, 2010

DTABC Inaugural author loses battle with cancer

Paul Quarrington, DTABC's very first selected author, succumbed to lung cancer on Thursday. He was a celebrated writer, winning the Stephen Leacock Prize for humour with King Leary, the Governor General's Prize for Whale Music, and was nominated for the Giller Prize twice, with Galveston and The Ravine, respectively. King Leary, which also won the 2008 Canada Reads Competition, was our first selection, with mixed reviews: "I did not find this book funny, but sad. Quarrington's novel actually exemplifies the isolation of the aging population and that old people are most often portrayed as something to laugh at." Ouch. I feel a little less like that now, and more like Quarrington is much smarter than I gave him credit for - of course he was writing satirically about the portrayal of the elderly in pop culture! He wrote an enduring character that belongs in the pantheon of Canadian writing beside Barney Panofsky and Hagar Shipley. Of course, it doesn't hurt a Canadian writer to write about hockey. At any rate, I feel that I will read King Leary again with much less annoyance and contempt than I did initially. Mr. Quarrington, you will be missed.

Read more about Paul Quarrington here.

1 comment:

Hutton said...

Here here. I'm re-reading the book in tribute and may even buy one of his albums.