We at LitStack are sad to mark the passing of British author Graham Joyce on September 9, 2014. He had been in treatment for Mantle Cell Lymphoma, a type of cancer that affects the blood. He was 59 years old.
Mr. Graham was the author of 14 novels and 26 short stories, most in the realm of speculative fiction, and had won the British Fantasy Award seven times, most recently in 2012 for his novel Some Kind of Fairy Tale. He grew up in a working class family in Keresley, a small village outside of Coventry, England, worked as youth officer for the National Association of Youth Clubs, and spent time writing in Greece before returning to England in 1991. He earned a PhD in English Literature, and most recently had been teaching creative writing at Nottingham Trent University.
LitStack reviewer Sharon Browning said, “It was Some Kind of Fairy Tale that introduced me to Graham Joyce, and I was immediately taken by his storytelling skill, blending fantasy with reality in a way that felt so familiar, so honest. I had just read The Ghost in the Electric Blue Suit, and had been thinking to myself that I was lucky to have ‘found’ this writer, and now he is gone. It’s incredibly tragic, very sad.”
On his blog on the Graham Joyce website, Dr. Joyce wrote sparingly but openly about his cancer, sharing the insights that it gave him on life. On June 14, 2014 he wrote:
And with that uncertainty of the time previously taken for granted comes the prospect of grace. I’m not religious, but I know moments of grace when they are gifted. Ordinary moments, but they make the hairs stand up on the back of your forearm. Watching my boy race through the field with our dog; getting deliciously lost in a new bluebell wood; the four of us laughing until it hurts at something said one dinner time; my daughter showing me her latest painting; the music of rain; driving back from a beach walk on my wife’s birthday when the setting sun boiled up huge, blistering poppies in a golden barley field and flushed pheasants and hares and other totemic animals from the roadside. Quotidian moments, each no bigger than a nutshell really, but infinite and delirium-inducing when you come to examine them.
Beautiful words to be remembered by. Please pause to enjoy a moment of time, in honor of Dr. Graham Joyce.