The Leon Rooke NC Archive Page



Leon Rooke has published more than 30 books, including novels, short story collections, plays, anthologies, and “oddities,” and more than three hundred short stories. He exhibits paintings at the Fran Hill Gallery in Toronto. Rooke’s many awards include the Governor General’s Award for Fiction (for Shakespeare’s Dog, 1985), the Periodical Association of Canada Award for the English-Language Paperback Novel of the Year (for Fat Woman, 1982), a Pushcart Prize (1988), the North Carolina Award for Literature (1990), and the Canada/Australia Literary Prize in 1981, for his body of work. Also the W. O. Mitchell Literary Award, for his writing and his mentoring, and the ReLit Short Fiction Award. Rooke has taught at more than a dozen Canadian and U.S. universities. He lives in Toronto.

Leon Rooke is an old and dear friend. He was in my head long before I met him because of his books, Shakespeare’s Dog in particular in those days, a novel that has stuck with me as a license and an inspiration — William Shakespeare as observed by his dog (who is telling the story), a brilliant book, a tour de force of point of view construction, an example of how literature thrives by making things strange. I put Leon in Best Canadian Stories regularly (as often as Alice Munro) over the decade I edited that anthology. I’ve reviewed his books at least a half-dozen times. I wrote an essay about his (also brilliant, eerie, and wonderful) novel, A Good Baby, which you can find in my book of essays, Attack of the Copula Spiders. Rooke was born in North Carolina but lives in Toronto. He has an actor’s voice and presence and is an amazing performer of his own work. He’s also a painter — we have been lucky enough to publish images of four of his paintings on NC. —dg


Repetition: Fiction

Sirens & The Red Hair District: Paintings

Thou Beside Me Singing: The April Poems

Heidegger, Floss, Elfride, and the Cat: Fiction

Son of Light: Fiction

Four Paintings




  4 Responses to “The Leon Rooke NC Archive Page”

  1. Hello. This is your niece . Lou Ann Rose. I would love to here from darling uncle. Hope u are well and happy

    • Hello Lou Ann. Lovely to hear from you through thiis surprising portal. All
      OK up here and hope4 the same with you and yours.

  2. Hello this is Doris (Thomas) Brock’s (you worked with her at the bank in NC) son in law Jim Mazzo. My mother in law got ur two post cards but would luv to thank you but there was no return addres or phone #. My email is if u would like to send ur address or phone #.

  3. Dear Leon Rooke, I’ve been fan of your writing ever since “Shakespeare’s Dog,” and it was the inspiration for my novel “Shakespeare’s Pipe.” I’d like to send this to you, but I do not know either your e-mail address or a P.O. where I might mail it. If you can private message me at, perhaps we can connect. I’ve taught Shakespeare, writing, and film at university for 35 years, am now emerita. With best wishes.

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