Award-win­ning au­thor Richard B. Wright dies

The Hamilton Spectator - - A&E - THE CANA­DIAN PRESS TORONTO —

Award-win­ning Cana­dian au­thor Richard B. Wright has died at the age of 79.

His death was con­firmed on Wed­nes­day by his literary agent, Dean Cooke.

The St. Catharines, Ont.-based au­thor won the Sco­tia­bank Giller Prize and a Gov­er­nor Gen­eral’s Literary Award for his 2001 novel “Clara Cal­lan.”

Wright jug­gled his writ­ing along with teach­ing du­ties at Ri­d­ley Col­lege in St. Catharines.

Just last year he pub­lished the Que­bec City-set novel “Night­fall.”

In 2008, he made the long list for the Giller and the In­ter­na­tional IMPAC Dublin Literary Award for “Oc­to­ber.”

His other nov­els in­clude “Mr. Shake­speare’s Bas­tard” and “The Age of Long­ing.”

“Oc­to­ber” is nar­rated by the char­ac­ter James Hil­lyer, a re­tired English pro­fes­sor who trav­els to Eng­land to visit his daugh­ter who’s been stricken with can­cer. The char­ac­ter was re­vived in “Night­fall,” which picks up af­ter the death of his daugh­ter.

“The end­ing of life and the pass­ing of time have al­ways been pre­oc­cu­pa­tions of mine,” he said in a 2007 in­ter­view with The Cana­dian Press.

“I think it’s a pre­oc­cu­pa­tion of most peo­ple in a sec­u­lar hu­man­ist cul­ture where re­li­gion for many has lost its po­tency. I’m con­scious of how time is shrink­ing for me. I’m now 70 years old, and op­ti­misti­cally I’m only look­ing at an­other 120 months. Think of how fast a month goes.”

He is sur­vived by his sons Christo­pher and An­drew, and grand­chil­dren Gage, Mil­lie, Syd­ney, Abbey and Nathan.

A look at the books pub­lished by Wright: • An­drew Tol­liver (1965) • The Week­end Man (1970) • In the Middle of a Life (1973) • Farthing’s For­tunes (1976) • Fi­nal Things (1980) • The Teacher’s Daugh­ter (1982) • Tourists (1984) • One John A. Too Many (1984) (a re­pub­lished ver­sion of “An­drew Tol­liver” un­der a new name) • Sun­set Manor (1990) • The Age of Long­ing (1995) • Clara Cal­lan (2001) • Adul­tery (2004) • Oc­to­ber (2007) • Mr. Shake­speare’s Bas­tard (2010)

• A Life With Words: A Writer’s Mem­oir (2015)

• Night­fall (2016)

JOHN REEVES

Richard B. Wright won the Giller Prize for fic­tion in 2001 for "Clara Cal­lan." The Cana­dian au­thor has died at the age of 79.

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