Your cart is empty.

'Membering Austin Clarke

Edited by Paul Barrett
Subjects Social Science, Multiculturalism, Literary Criticism, Canadian Literature
Hide Details
Paperback : 9781771124775, 236 pages, November 2020
Ebook (EPUB) : 9781771124782, November 2020

Table of contents


1. The Trouble of Intimacy / Rinaldo Walcott

2. On Austin Clarke’s Style / Paul Barrett

3. Dear Austin: Why Teaching Your Work Is Difficult / Leslie Sanders

4. “There Were No Elders. Only Old Men”: Aging and Misogyny in Austin Clarke’s Later Fiction / Camille Isaacs

5. That Man, That Man—Stories and Confabulations / Austin Clarke

6. Burrowing Into the Craft: Editing Austin Clarke / Dennis Lee

7. Editorial Notes for “When He Was Free and Young and He Used to Wear Silks” / Dennis Lee

8. Sometimes, A Motherless Child: A Double Take / Giovanna Riccio

9. “These Virtues o’ the Cullinerry Harts”: Talking Food and Politics in the Letters of Austin Clarke, Sam Selvon, and Andrew Salkey / Kris Singh

10. Let Me Stand Up / Austin Clarke

11. Austin A.C. Clarke Is the Most / Kate Siklosi

12. The Rogue in Me / Austin Clarke

13. Spatiality in the Poetry of Austin A.C. Clarke / Stephen Cain

14. The Lessons of Austin Clarke / Sonnet L’Abbé

15. “The Wordshop of the Kitchen”: Impressions of Austin Clarke and Paule Marshall / Asha Varadharajan

16. Of Kin and Kind / Marquita Smith

17. The Robber / Austin Clarke

18. Austin Clarke: Defying the Silence, a Life in Letters / John Harewood

19. Austin Clarke Love Poem / Cyril Dabydeen

20. Do Not Let Them Choose the Fragrance / Austin Clarke

21. There Will Never Be Another Austin Clarke / Patrick Crean

22. Still the British Empire / André Forget

23. I Can Say I Read It / E. Martin Nolan

24. Austin Clarke’s Books / Katherine McKittrick

25. Hyphen (for Austin “Tom” Clarke, 1934–2016) / John R. Lee

26. “Myth Grounded in Truth”: Sound, Light, and the Vertical Imagination in Austin Clarke’s ’Membering
/ Winfried Siemerling

27. À St. Matthias / George Elliott Clarke

28. Clarke on Clarke / George Elliott Clarke & Paul Barrett

29. All He Wanted to Do Was Type / Michael A. Bucknor

30. Recognition / David Chariandy

Works Cited



'Membering Austin Clarke reflects on the life and writing of Austin Clarke, whose depictions of Black life in Canada enlarged our understanding of what Canadian literature looks like.

Despite being one of Canada's most widely published, and most richly awarded writers, Austin Clarke (1934–2016) is not a household name. This collection addresses Clarke's marginalization in Canadian literature by demonstrating that his writing on Black diasporic life and the immigrant experience is a foundational, if untold, part of the story of CanLit.

Novelist, short-story writer, poet, and essayist, Clarke was born in Barbados, moved to Canada in 1955 and went on to establish Black Studies programs at a number of universities in America. He returned to Canada and became one of Canadian literature’s most prolific authors and a public voice for Black people in Canada. Among his best-known works are the Giller Award–winning The Polished Hoe (2002) and his memoir ‘Membering (2015).

This collection of essays from colleagues, scholars, friends, and fellow writers addresses Clarke's work in all its richness and complexity in order to understand how Clarke's legacy continues to transform Canadian writing. It includes previously unpublished poems and short stories from Clarke's archives as well as personal reflections from friends, histories of the publication of his works, essays, interviews, and short stories and poems inspired by Clarke.


"This anthology stands as a refuta¬tion of how Black life in Canada is discarded and disremembered. It marks an intimate encounter with Austin Clarke's life and writing and reminds us of his singular contributions to Black life in Canada. " —Rinaldo Walcott

"’Membering Austin Clarke is a wonderful collection – a both discerning and poignant tribute to one of Canada’s great writers, which will be a landmark work in Austin Clarke criticism for years to come. Paul Barrett has assembled some of the leading names in Black Canadian criticism, along with several friends and fellow travellers of Clarke, resulting in the production of a manuscript that will be widely read beyond an academic audience. " —Aaron Kamugisha

'Membering Austin Clarke makes for a lively and often fascinating mix of literary criticism that […] is well-judged and imaginatively structured. The careful placing of different but interweaving contributions and kinds of contributors works iteratively and accumulatively, like the jazz music that Clarke loved almost as much as his own skilfully mixed home martinis. — Sarah Lawson Welsh, Canadian Literature