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Jamaican writer Garfield Ellis dies

On March 16, 2018, the family of Jamaican writer Garfield Ellis posted the following to his Facebook page:

The family of Garfield Ellis advise that he passed away peacefully this morning at the Scarborough General Hospital in Canada.

We know that to many of you he was a friend and a mentor and we want to take the opportunity to thank you for allowing him to be a part of your lives.

Ellis was the author of six published titles. The latest, The Angel’s Share, appeared from Akashic Books in 2016; the Globe and Mail reviewed the novel here. The other five titles are Flaming Hearts and Other Stories (1996), Wake Rasta and Other Stories (2001), Such as I Have (2003), For Nothing At All (2005), and Till I’m Laid to Rest (2010).

The author biography from Till I’m Laid to Rest reads:

Garfield Ellis grew up in Jamaica, the eldest of nine children. He studied marine engineering, management and public relations in Jamaica and he completed his Master of Fine Arts degree at the University of Miami, as a James Michener Fellow…. He is a two-time winner of the Una Marson prize for adult literature; has twice won the Canute A. Brodhurst prize for fiction and the 1990 Heinemann/Lifestyle short story competition.

Ellis’s reflection on his journey toward writing appears on his website, here.

Emma Lewis has posted a remembrance of Ellis (and of Jamaican ceramicist Gene Pearson, who passed away on March 15) which collates many of the expressions of grief from members of the Caribbean literary community.