Rooke, Leon

 Leon Rooke, short-story writer, novelist, playwright (b at Roanoke Rapids, NC 11 Sept 1934). He was educated at the U of NC in Chapel Hill (1955-58, 1961-62) and was drafted into the US Army infantry which he served in Alaska 1958-60. Rooke has been writer-in-residence at 2 US colleges and has taught creative writing at U of Vic and elsewhere in Canada since 1969. An energetic and prolific storyteller, Rooke's writing is characterized by inventive language, experimental form, and an extreme range of offbeat characters with distinctive voices. He has written a number of plays for radio and stage, including the published works Krokodile (1973) and Sword/Play (1974), and has produced 14 collections of short stories, including Sing Me No Love Songs I'll Say You No Prayers: Selected Stories (1984). With John Metcalf he edited The New Press Anthology I (1984) and II (1985). It is his novels, however, which have received the most critical acclaim: Fat Woman (1980), Shakespeare's Dog (1983; Governor General's Award winner) and A Good Baby (1989). Rooke received the Canada-Australia Literary Prize in 1981.