The eldest of eight siblings, Lawrence Scanlan grew up in a three-bedroom, bunk bed-filled bungalow in a Toronto suburb. His father ran the church hockey and baseball leagues and his sons would all become coaches and his daughters all volunteered in the community. His mother, a geriatric nurse, set an example of understated compassion. When she died several years ago, Lawrence began to ponder her legacy, the mark we humans make in this world and the role of generosity in our daily lives.
Lawrence has been a journalist for almost four decades - with daily newspapers (editor of The Nelson Daily News in B.C., literary editor of The Whig-Standard in Ontario), magazines (managing editor of Harrowsmith), and in radio with two national CBC programmes (producer on Morningside and Writers & Company). He has won numerous prizes for his writing, including three National Magazine Awards. Lawrence is the author or co-author of fifteen books, on subjects ranging from horses to hockey to home. Some of his books have been translated into German and Spanish. One, The Man Who Listens to Horses, co-authored with Monty Roberts, remained on North American bestseller lists for more than a year and sold in excess of a million copies.
A Year of Living Generously follows Lawrence as he volunteers with twelve different charities, one for every month of the year. He rolls up his sleeves both close to home (a soup kitchen, a hospice drop-in, a First Nations school) and far afield (building houses in the parishes of New Orleans, teaching at a women’s radio station in Senegal, working in an HIV-AIDS shelter in Costa Rica) as he gathers stories and insights and strives to answer big questions: How do we bridge the ever widening gap between rich and poor? In the face of human suffering, what - if anything - is our obligation?
Lawrence Scanlan currently lives, writes, and volunteers in Kingston, Ontario.