Known for such humorous books as Why I Hate Canadians, Canadian History for Dummies, and Hitching Rides with Buddha, this popular author received the Giller Prize for his 2012 work 419: A Novel.
After traveling to Ecuador with the Canada World Youth program, he graduated from York University with a film degree.
His humorous 1998 memoir, I Was a Teenage Katima Victim: A Canadian Odyssey, was a finalist for the Edna Staebler Award.
He and his five siblings (including award-winning author Ian Ferguson) grew up in Fort Vermilion, Alberta, Canada. He later settled in Calgary with his wife and sons.
Three of his works -- Beauty Tips from Moose Jaw, Beyond Belfast, and Generica -- received the Stephen Leacock Memorial Medal for Humour.