Graeme Gibson

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Graeme Gibson

BornThomas Graeme Cameron Gibson
(1934-08-09)9 August 1934
London, Ontario, Canada
Died18 September 2019(2019-09-18) (aged 85)
London, United Kingdom
Alma materUniversity of Western Ontario
Notable worksEleven Canadian Novelists (1973)
SpouseShirley Gibson (div. c. 1973)
PartnerMargaret Atwood (1973–his death, 2019)

Graeme C. Gibson CM (9 August 1934 – 18 September 2019) was a Canadian novelist.[1] He was a Member of the Order of Canada (1992) and one of the organizers of the Writer's Union of Canada (chair, 1974–75). He was also a founder of the Writers' Trust of Canada, a non-profit literary organization that seeks to encourage Canada's writing community.[1]


Gibson was best known for his 1973 book Eleven Canadian Novelists, a non-fiction work in which he conducted extended interviews about literature and writing with Atwood, Austin Clarke, Matt Cohen, Marian Engel, Timothy Findley, Dave Godfrey, Margaret Laurence, Jack Ludwig, Alice Munro, Mordecai Richler and Scott Symons.

In 1996 he decided to stop writing novels. At the time he was working on a novel titled Moral Disorder. Atwood borrowed the title for her collection of short stories published in 2006.[2] He was a council member of World Wildlife Fund Canada and chairman of Pelee Island Bird Observatory.[citation needed]

He was awarded, jointly with Jacob Verhoef and Margaret Atwood, the 2015 Gold Medal of the Royal Canadian Geographical Society.[3]

Personal life[edit]

Gibson was married to publisher Shirley Gibson until the early 1970s, and together they had two sons, Matt and Grae.[4][5] He began dating novelist and poet Margaret Atwood in 1973.[1] They moved to a farm near Alliston, Ontario, where their daughter Eleanor Jess Atwood Gibson was born in 1976. The family returned to Toronto in 1980.[6] They stayed together until his death in 2019.

The New Yorker magazine reported in its April 17, 2017, edition that Gibson had been diagnosed with early signs of dementia.[7] He died on 18 September 2019.[8][9]


  • Five Legs – 1969
  • Communion – 1971
  • Eleven Canadian Novelists – 1973
  • Perpetual Motion – 1982
  • Gentleman Death – 1993
  • The Bedside Book of Birds – 2005
  • The Bedside Book of Beasts – 2009


  1. ^ a b c Graeme Gibson's entry in The Canadian Encyclopedia.
  2. ^ See the Acknowledgements at the end of Margaret Atwood, Moral Disorder, McClelland and Stewart, 2006.
  3. ^ "Gold Medal 2015 Recipients - Dr. Jacob Verhoef, Graeme Gibson and Margaret Atwood". Royal Canadian Geographical Society. Retrieved 21 November 2015.
  4. ^ Potts, Robert (2003-04-26). "Light in the wilderness". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved 2017-07-05.
  5. ^ "The elusive Margaret Atwood | Quill and Quire". Quill and Quire. 2004-04-28. Retrieved 2017-07-05.
  6. ^ Sutherland, John (2012). Lives of the Novelists: A History of Fiction in 294 Lives. Yale University Press. p. 721. ISBN 978-0-300-18243-9.
  7. ^ "Margaret Atwood, the Prophet of Dystopia". The New Yorker. 2019-09-18.
  8. ^ "Doubleday today shares the sad news that celebrated Canadian author Graeme Gibson has died". Penguin Random House. Retrieved 18 September 2019.
  9. ^ "Canadian author Graeme Gibson dead at 85". CP24. 2019-09-18.