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Paul Quarrington, 1953“2010

Paul Quarrington has died. According to a post on his website [Note: This link is no longer active], the author and musician died at his home in Toronto early this morning:

Paul Quarrington’s brave battle with cancer is over. He passed peacefully at home in Toronto in the early hours this morning surrounded by friends and family. It is comforting to know that he didn’t suffer; he was calm and quiet holding hands with those who were closest to him. The past few days saw a rapid decline in his ability to breathe. More information will be made available shortly.

Quarrington was the author of some 10 novels, including the Governor General’s Literary Award-winning Whale Music, the Stephen Leacock Award-winning King Leary, the Giller Prize-nominated Galveston, and The Ravine. He was diagnosed with stage four lung cancer last May and has since had a very public battle with the disease.

The past several years have seen a resurgence in interest in Quarrington’s life and work. Last fall, he was presented with the Writers’ Trust of Canada’s Matt Cohen Award for lifetime achievement, and in 2007 2008 his novel King Leary won CBC’s Canada Reads.

In an April 2008 profile, Quarrington told Q&Q that he was experiencing a career high. “I’m sort of having the time of my life right now,” he said.

[UPDATE: A roundup of tributes to Quarrington has been posted on his official homepage.]