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Trent University Mourns the Death of Richard B. Wright

February 9, 2017

Trent alumnus, Canadian novelist, honorary degree recipient and member of the Order of Canada

The Trent University community is saddened to learn of the passing of Richard B. Wright ‘70, award-winning Canadian novelist, Trent honorary degree recipient, and member of the Order of Canada.

“Mr. Wright’s writing and teaching contributions have made an indelible impact throughout several decades.  It was a privilege to know him as a distinguished member of the Trent University Alumni Association and we extend our heartfelt condolences to his family,” said Lee Hays, director of Alumni Affairs. 

Mr. Wright was the author of ten novels, including the highly acclaimed The Weekend Man, the Giller Prize-nominated The Age of Longing, and In the Middle of Life, which won the City of Toronto Book Award and the Faber Award in the U.K. His most successful novel was Clara Callan, winner of three of Canada’s most distinguished prizes for literature – the Trillium Book Award, the Giller Prize, and the Governor General’s Literary Award. Mr. Wright was appointed as member of the Order of Canada in 2007.

Mr. Wright graduated from Trent University in 1972 with a degree in English Literature. He came to Trent as a mature student after completing the Radio and Television Arts Program at Ryerson Institute of Technology and working for over ten years in journalism, radio and publishing, first as a journalist representative for Oxford University Press.

Upon completing his Trent degree, Mr. Wright began a long career as an English teacher at Ridley College in St. Catharines. In order to pursue his literary career, Mr. Wright would rise at 4:30 a.m. every morning to complete three hours of writing before beginning a day of teaching. He retired in 2001, the same year his novel Clara Callan won several distinguished awards.

In 2006, Trent University bestowed its highest honour upon Mr. Wright, awarding him an honorary Doctor of Letters for his distinguished contributions to Canadian Literature. 

The University extends heartfelt sympathies to Mr. Wright’s family and friends, and to all who knew him.