Gathered together are three extraordinary books by renowned storyteller and memoirist Austin Clarke.
’Membering, Clarke’s breathtaking memoir, spans over fifty years of his life as a writer, chronicling his coming to Canada in the fifties, formative experiences with Malcolm X, Chinua Achebe, and LeRoi Jones, and bursting with cultural insights and poignant memories from a narrative master.
In The Polished Hoe, winner of the Giller Prize and the 2003 Commonwealth Writers’ Prize, when an elderly Bimshire village woman calls the police to confess to a murder, the result is a shattering all-night vigil that brings together elements of the African diaspora in one epic sweep. Set on the post-colonial West Indian island of Bimshire in 1952, The Polished Hoe unravels over the course of 24 hours but spans the lifetime of one woman and the collective experience of a society informed by slavery.
Choosing His Coffin is a selection of Clarke’s finest work from more than forty years of storytelling, drawing on his Caribbean roots and his years in Canada. These stories range in theme from growing up in West Indian society and what it means to be black in both the United States and Canada to surviving as an immigrant in a predominantly Anglo-Saxon culture.