Austin Clarke


Born
in St. James, Barbados
July 26, 1934

Died
June 26, 2016

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Austin Ardinel Chesterfield Clarke was a Canadian novelist, essayist and short story writer who lives in Toronto, Ontario. He has been called "Canada's first multicultural writer".

Clarke had his early education in Barbados and taught at a rural school for three years. In 1955 he moved to Canada to attend the University of Toronto but after two years turned his hand to journalism and broadcasting. He was a reporter in the Ontario communities of Timmins and Kirkland Lake, before joining the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation as a freelance journalist. He subsequently taught at several American universities, including Yale, Duke and the University of Texas.

In 1973 he was designated cultural attaché at the Barbadian embassy in Washington, DC. He
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Average rating: 3.38 · 2,391 ratings · 241 reviews · 54 distinct worksSimilar authors
The Polished Hoe

3.26 avg rating — 1,558 ratings — published 2002 — 14 editions
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More

3.08 avg rating — 135 ratings — published 2008 — 11 editions
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Pig Tails 'n Breadfruit

3.80 avg rating — 93 ratings — published 1999 — 5 editions
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Choosing His Coffin: The Be...

3.38 avg rating — 86 ratings — published 1965 — 3 editions
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Growing Up Stupid Under the...

3.80 avg rating — 59 ratings — published 1980 — 8 editions
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The Meeting Point

3.48 avg rating — 56 ratings — published 1998 — 3 editions
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The Origin of Waves

3.61 avg rating — 56 ratings — published 1997 — 4 editions
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The Bigger Light

3.59 avg rating — 22 ratings — published 1975 — 4 editions
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Storm of Fortune

3.88 avg rating — 17 ratings — published 1998 — 3 editions
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Question

2.42 avg rating — 26 ratings — published 1999 — 3 editions
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More books by Austin Clarke…
The Meeting Point Storm of Fortune The Bigger Light
(3 books)
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3.58 avg rating — 95 ratings

“In my mother's book, a vegetarian is somebody who is not concern with his or her diet and health. "Someone who prefer bush and grass, as if they is sheeps and cows, is somebody who don't have enough food to put in his mouth," she always say.

Only vegetarians eat dryfood regularly—and like to eat it, too. It is not considered normal for a person to cook food that doesn't have some amount o' meat or fish to go with it. Only someone who is starving, who don't have money to buy a fish head or a single flying fish or even the head of a dolphin—in other words, a person who is "catching his arse"—has to eat dryfood. A person at this stage is a person one remove from having to cook bakes for breakfast, lunch and dinner.”
Austin Clarke, Pig Tails 'n Breadfruit

“but here I am, in this study that looks across a road well travelled in the rushing mornings to work, and hardly travelled with such anxiety and intent during the hours that come before the rush to work, walked on, and peed on, by the homeless, and the prostitutes and the pimps, and the men and women going home to apartments in the sky, surrounding and overlooking Moss Park park, as I like to call it. Moss Park park is where life stretches out itself on its back, prostrate in filthy, hopeless, bouts of heroism and stardom, for these men who lie on the benches and the dying grass, are heroes to themselves and to one another,”
Austin Clarke, 'Membering

“This backwards journey in the narrating of this ’membering, this remembrance, is a lesson I learned from Geoffrey Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales, and which considers how language, in this case, English, the only language I know, is at present of profound interest, when used in a non-traditional manner. I have used this language in The Polished Hoe, and I call it many things, but the most precise definition I have given it is contained in a booklet published by the Giller Prize Foundation, celebrating the tenth anniversary of this literary prize. In that review of the literary problems I faced in the writing of The Polished Hoe in 2002, my main concern was to find a language, or to more strictly use the language I already knew, in such a way that it became, in my manipulation of it, a “new” language. And to explain the result of this experiment, I said that I intended to “creolize Oxford English.”
Austin Clarke, 'Membering

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