Jamaica-born author Garfield Ellis died on Friday at the Scarborough General hospital in Toronto after a battle with cancer. He was 57.
Ellis who grew up in Jamaica, was the eldest of nine children. He studied marine engineering, management and public relations in Jamaica and completed his Master of Fine Arts degree at the University of Miami, on full scholarship as a James Michener Fellow.
He published six books, the most recent being The Angels’ Share, a novel about a young marketing executive who accompanies his estranged father on a week-long quest across Jamaica in search of the father’s long-lost love, whom he has not seen in 35 years
Ellis was a two-time winner of the Una Marson prize for adult literature; first for a collection of short stories, Flaming Hearts, and later for the novel, Till I’m Laid To Rest. He won the Canute A. Brodhurst prize for fiction (The Caribbean Writer, University of Virgin Islands) jn 2000 & 2005 and the 1990 Heinemann/Lifestyle short story competition.
Ellis who joined the Jamaica Observer newspaper in 1997 as circulation manager, served in that position until 2002 when he was named operations manager. In 2004 he resigned from the company and came to Canada. He lived in Scarborough.
Friends will pay tribute to Garfield Ellis at a viewing ceremony at Covenant funeral home at 2505 Eglinton Ave E, in Scarborough on Saturday from 4:00pm to 9:00pm.
He will be buried in the family plot in his native Jamaica on April 14.