Brian Francis

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Brian Francis
Born 1971
Sarnia
Occupation novelist
Nationality Canadian
Period 2000s-present
Notable works Fruit, Natural Order

Brian Francis (born 1971) is a Canadian writer. His 2004 novel Fruit was selected for inclusion in the 2009 edition of Canada Reads, where it was championed by novelist and CBC Radio One personality Jen Sookfong Lee.[1] It finished the competition as the runner-up, making the last vote against the eventual winner, Lawrence Hill's The Book of Negroes.[2]

Published in Canada by ECW Press and released on May 4, 2004, Fruit is the story of Peter Paddington, a teenager living in Sarnia.[3] Overweight, gay and a social outsider, Paddington regularly retreats into an active fantasy life which includes his own nipples talking to him, and the novel traces his journey toward self-acceptance.[3]

The novel was published in paperback format in the United States by Harper Perennial on August 2, 2005 under the title The Secret Fruit of Peter Paddington. In 2014, Amazon included the novel on its list of "100 Canadian Books to Read in a Lifetime."[4]

Fruit was well received by critics, with Entertainment Weekly referring to it as "sweet, tart, and forbidden in all the right places."[5]

Francis' second novel, Natural Order, published by Doubleday Canada, was released on August 23, 2011. The novel tells the story of a mother coming to terms with the death of her adult son.

Natural Order was positively reviewed by critics and made Best Books of 2011 lists for the Toronto Star[6] and The Georgia Straight.[7] The novel was short-listed for the Ontario Library Association's 2012 Evergreen Award and 2012 CBC Bookie Awards.[8] Natural Order was designated a Top 40 selection for Canada Reads 2014.[9]

He was awarded an Honour of Distinction citation by the Writers' Trust of Canada's Dayne Ogilvie Prize, a literary award for emerging LGBT writers in Canada, in 2008.[10] In 2010, he served on the Dayne Ogilvie Prize jury, selecting Nancy Jo Cullen as that year's prize winner.[11]

In 2011, Francis created Caker Cooking, a weekly humour blog featuring “the best of the worst of mangiacake cuisine.”[12]

In March 2015, Quill & Quire magazine debuted Francis' advice column, "Ask the Agony Editor."[13] The monthly humour column fields questions from readers about publishing and writing.

Francis, who is gay,[14] has also worked for the Toronto publications Xtra! and NOW.

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