Al was born in Kenya and his father’s work in forestry continued in Zambia and Malawi until Al was twenty-one. He pursued his education in Britain where a university course gave him access to study in Geneva, Switzerland, for an undergraduate dissertation on how the execution of a heretic in 1553 became a cause célèbre in the fight for religious toleration. The interplay between Calvinist rigour and Geneva’s role in the humane endeavours of the Red Cross and the League of Nations informed an unpublished short story which would ultimately be developed into the novel Mixed Medicines in Geneva.
Following immigration to Canada in 1987, Al took a management consulting position that involved twenty years of constant travel in Canada, the States and Mexico.
Retirement afforded the opportunity to return to creative writing with a certificate course at Humber College. Al has lived in Montreal and Toronto where he is currently based.