Graeme Gibson Bio, Wiki
Graeme C. Gibson CM was born on August 9th, 1934 and did on September 18th, 2019. He was a Canadian novelist, 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.
Gibson is also renown for being the husband to publisher Shirley Gibson.
Graeme Gibson Novels
Born in London, Gibson penned novels (Five Legs, Communion, Perpetual Motion and Gentleman Death) as well as non-fiction, including Eleven Canadian Novelists (for which he interviewed his future partner Atwood), The Bedside Book of Birds and The Bedside Book of Beasts.
He decided to stop writing novels in 1996. 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.
Graeme Gibson Other Works
Gibson was a founding member of both the Writers’ Union of Canada and the Writers’ Trust of Canada, as well as a past president of PEN Canada. He was an advocate for conservation efforts and a devoted birder who helped found the Pelee Island Bird Observatory.
He was a council member of World Wildlife Fund Canada and chairman of Pelee Island Bird Observatory. He was awarded, jointly with Jacob Verhoef and Margaret Atwood, the 2015 Gold Medal of the Royal Canadian Geographical Society.
Gibson was invested as a member of the Order of Canada in 1992.
Graeme Gibson Wife (Shirley Gibson)
Gibson was married to publisher Shirley Gibson until the early 1970s, and together they had two sons, Matt and Grae.
Graeme Gibson Partner (Margaret Atwood)
Gibson began dating novelist and poet Margaret Atwood in 1973. 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. They stayed together until his death on September 18th, 2019.
Born on November 18th, 1939, Margaret Atwood is a Canadian poet, novelist, literary critic, essayist, inventor, teacher, and environmental activist. Since 1961, she has published 17 books of poetry, 16 novels, 10 books of non-fiction, eight collections of short fiction, eight children’s books, and one graphic novel, as well as a number of small press editions in poetry and fiction. Atwood has won numerous awards and honors for her writing, including the Man Booker Prize, Arthur C. Clarke Award, Governor General’s Award, Franz Kafka Prize, and the National Book Critics and PEN Center USA Lifetime Achievement Awards.
Margaret Atwood said in a statement Wednesday issued by publisher Penguin Random House Canada: “We are devastated by the loss of Graeme, our beloved father, grandfather, and spouse, but we are happy that he achieved the kind of swift exit he wanted and avoided the decline into further dementia that he feared.
“He had a lovely last few weeks, and he went out on a high, surrounded by love, friendship, and appreciation. We are grateful for his wise, ethical and committed life.”
Graeme Gibson Death & Cause
Graeme Gibson died on Wednesday, September 18th, 2019 at the age of 85 in London, England, where he had accompanied Atwood for the global release of her latest book.
Earlier this week, Atwood canceled promotional appearances in Ottawa and Montreal for The Testaments — a sequel to her dystopian classic The Handmaid’s Tale and one of this fall’s most anticipated literary releases. The cancellation cited illness in the family.
According to Time magazine, Gibson was “living with dementia,” and Atwood juggled caring for him while working on her new novel. In a 2017 piece in The Walrus about the couple’s love of birdwatching, Gibson confirmed he had been diagnosed with dementia.