Vernon News

Patrick Lane, award-winning author who explored Okanagan Valley's past with debut novel, dies at 79

Patrick Lane, who wrote about the Okanagan Valley in his book "Red Dog, Red Dog", died on March 7, 2019. He was 79.
Image Credit: TWITTER/McClelland & Stewart

Patrick Lane wore many hats in his life, but it was his mastery of the written word that entertained countless people over his prolific career. His debut novel painted a vivid portrait of the Okanagan Valley in the 1950s, earning him country-wide fame.

Publisher McClelland & Stewart announced he died on March 7 at age 79.

Lane was born in Nelson in 1939. After graduating from a Vernon high school, he worked around the Interior with a variety of jobs while raising a family.

According to an archived post on his website, he traveled to several continents and began exploring poetry in the 1960s. He briefly lived in the Okanagan Valley before moving to becoming a writer-in-residence and teacher for several universities across Canada. During his travels he met fellow poet and future wife Lorna Crozier.

Lane's poetry, short stories and non-fiction work garnered him several awards, including the Governor General's Award for Poetry, the Canadian Authors Association Award, and three National Magazine awards, but he's perhaps best known for Red Dog, Red Dog, his debut novel in 2009.

Red Dog, Red Dog, set in the Okanagan Valley in the 1950s, focused on two brothers who struggle with their personal demons and traumatic past. The book was a best-seller and was long listed for the Giller Prize. Lane followed the hit novel with a memoir and a collection of poetry.

Lane was made an officer of the Order of Canada in 2014. He lived in Victoria with his wife.

— With files from The Canadian Press

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