Saturday, December 14, 2013

Amazon's Book Reviews: Caribbean Authors — Austin C. Clarke

Austin Ardinel Chesterfield Clarke, (born July 26, 1934 in Barbados), is a Canadian novelist, essayist and short story writer who lives in Toronto, Ontario. He has been called "Canada's first multicultural writer". Born in St. James, Barbados, Clarke had his early education there 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 University (Hoyt fellow, 1968–70), Duke University (1971-72), and the University of Texas (visiting professor, 1973). In 1973 he was designated cultural attaché at the Barbadian embassy in Washington, DC. He was later General Manager of the Caribbean Broadcasting Corporation in Barbados (1975-1977). Returning to Canada, in 1977 he ran as a Progressive Conservative candidate in the Ontario election. He was writer in residence at Concordia University, Montreal, Quebec (1977) and at University of Western Ontario (1978). From 1988 to 1993 he served on the Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada. Read more: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alejo_Carpentier

This is a review for The Polished Hoe: A Novel by Austin C. Clarke - Austin Clarke's Giller Prize winning novel THE POLISHED HOE takes place on the island of Bimshire (also known as Barbados) in the "Wessindes." During one long night of confession and reflection between Bimshire lawman, Sarge, and Miss Mary Gertrude Matilda, a kept woman on the Bellfeels plantation, Clarke's characters ruminate about the lives they have led. Mary calls the police station and tells them she must confess her crime. Sarge comes to the Great House where Miss Mary resides to record her statement, but is caught in a whirlwind of memories about the woman he grew up with, his own experiences and transgressions, and the contempt circulating the island regarding Mister Bellfeels. Enriched with native tongues and a sort of stream of consciousness writing, this is a novel that brought to mind some of the great writers of all time. The prose was lilting, and I often found myself caught in a reverie as the characters related memories from their lives. It is not a book for the drama lovers who live for fast paced reads; rather it seems to have been written for those who love narration, historical fiction, and carefully crafted characterizations. Read more: http://www.amazon.com/The-Polished-Hoe-A-Novel/product-reviews/B000C4SNQ2/ref=dp_top_cm_cr_acr_txt?showViewpoints=1

This is a review for Pig Tails 'N Breadfruit: A Culinary Memoir by Austin C. Clarke - This delightful book evokes the language and spirit of Barbados. The author weaves in tales of growing up in Barbados with memories of the food, 'hot cuisine', that fashioned his childhood. For anyone who has visited the island, this will surely bring back fond and enticing memories. Read the book, visit Barbados! Read more: http://www.amazon.com/Pig-Tails-Breadfruit-Culinary-Memoir/product-reviews/B001KZHGGK/ref=dp_top_cm_cr_acr_txt?showViewpoints=1

This is a review for Growing Up Stupid Under the Union Jack by Austin C. Clarke - Nobody does it better than Mr. Austin 'Tom' Clarke. Nobody can take us back into those long ago times with literature so touching, so real, so magical, so painful, so peaceful and picturesque, and yet so lovely. For Austin 'Tom' Clarke is a man for all seasons and beneath his humour and fun-poking there is a depth and intensity that makes his story so very arresting and captivating. I must say this book stimulated my mind to such an extent that it was not always easy to put it down just for a few moments. Giving an autobiographical account of his life as a youngster, we venture with him into his life at Combermere and how the school system worked at the time. Latin was a favourite with Clarke and his friends but unfortunately not having the money for the text books the information had to be handwritten from the textbooks of one of the privileged boys. Even for Scripture lessons when one would have thought that there would have been so many Bibles in the island, some guys had to write out Acts Of the Apostles in long hand. It was during wartime and things were terribly scarce and jobs hard to come by. Most of the people in the village worked for the Whites doing domestic work or at the Marine hotel in the same capacity. So it was the norm to emulate everything English.....studying English history, society and manners. After all the country was under Colonial control and Barbadians would have it no other way. They knew no other way. Read more: http://www.amazon.com/Growing-Stupid-Under-Union-Jack/product-reviews/1902669703/ref=dp_top_cm_cr_acr_txt?showViewpoints=1

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