Page last updated at 12:09 GMT, Friday, 22 January 2010

Author Paul Quarrington dies aged 56

Paul Quarrington
Quarrington was diagnosed with cancer last year

Canadian author Paul Quarrington, whose work includes the award-winning novel Whale Music, has died at the age of 56.

Quarrington, also an accomplished guitarist and screenwriter, died at his Toronto home, from lung cancer.

As well as his memoir, Cigar Box Banjo, due out in May, Quarrington was working on his first solo CD and a third album with band Porkbelly Futures.

"He was calm and quiet holding hands with those who were closest to him," said a statement on his website.

"His brave journey ended on 21 January 2010. He passed peacefully at home in Toronto in the early hours surrounded by friends and family. It is comforting to know that he didn't suffer," the statement added.

Feature film

Whale Music - reportedly based loosely on the life of reclusive Beach Boy Brian Wilson - won the Governor General's Award for Fiction and was one of several of his novels adapted as a feature film.

Other books include The Ravine, Galveston and King Leary, which won the Stephen Leacock Medal and the 2008 Canada Reads competition.

He won a Genie award for his screenplay Perfectly Normal, starring Robbie Coltrane, and was nominated for his work on the hit TV series Due South.

A tutor at the University of Toronto, Quarrington was working on a documentary film inspired by the book Life in Music at the time of his death.

He leaves behind two children, Carson Lara and Flannery.

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