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Odysseys Home

Mapping African-Canadian Literature

by George Elliott Clarke

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canadian, african american, black studies (global)
list price: $126.00
edition:Hardcover
also available: Paperback Paperback eBook
published: 2002
ISBN:9780802043764
Description

Odysseys Home: Mapping African-Canadian Literature is a pioneering study of African-Canadian literary creativity, laying the groundwork for future scholarly work in the field. Based on extensive excavations of archives and texts, this challenging passage through twelve essays presents a history of the literature and examines its debt to, and synthesis with, oral cultures. George Elliott Clarke identifies African-Canadian literature's distinguishing characteristics, argues for its relevance to both African Diasporic Black and Canadian Studies, and critiques several of its key creators and texts.

 

Scholarly and sophisticated, the survey cites and interprets the works of several major African-Canadian writers, including André Alexis, Dionne Brand, Austin Clarke, Claire Harris, and M. Nourbese Philip. In so doing, Clarke demonstrates that African-Canadian writers and critics explore the tensions that exist between notions of universalism and black nationalism, liberalism and conservatism. These tensions are revealed in the literature in what Clarke argues to be – paradoxically – uniquely Canadian and proudly apart from a mainstream national identity.

 

Clarke has unearthed vital but previously unconsidered authors, and charted the relationship between African-Canadian literature and that of Africa, African America, and the Caribbean. In addition to the essays, Clarke has assembled a seminal and expansive bibliography of texts – literature and criticism – from both English and French Canada. This important resource will inevitably challenge and change future academic consideration of African-Canadian literature and its place in the international literary map of the African Diaspora.

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About the Author

George Elliott Clarke

GEORGE ELLIOTT CLARKE was born in Windsor, Nova Scotia, in 1960. Educated at the University of Waterloo, Dalhousie, and Queen’s, Clarke is also a pioneering scholar of African-Canadian literature. A professor of English at the University of Toronto, Clarke has taught at Duke, McGill, UBC, and Harvard. He holds eight honorary doctorates, plus appointments to the Order of Nova Scotia and the Order of Canada at the rank of Officer. His recognitions include the Pierre Elliott Trudeau Fellows Prize, the Governor-General’s Award for Poetry, and the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Achievement Award. He lives in Toronto.

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