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Why We Write

Conversations with African Canadian Poets and Novelists

edited by H. Nigel Thomas

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list price: $24.95
published: 2006

In this volume, African Canadian novelists and poets discuss the complexities of the writing experience. Most of the writers interviewed here are humanists; i.e., they see their work as serious depictions of the human condition, admit that their works are informed by an African Canadian ontology, and adhere to the notion that their books must delight and instruct. These interviews, therefore, are valuable additions to the creative process of the individual writers. Apart from identifying how the writers? geographical and social origins have influenced their work, the questions deliberately avoid autobiography. Instead, these writers respond to the exigencies of craft, the manipulations of publishers, the criticism of readers, and the absence of a clearly identifiable market for their works.

The writers include Austin Clarke, Bernadette Dyer, Althea Prince, Afua Cooper, M. NourbeSe Philip, Cecil Foster, Lawrence Hill, George Elliott Clarke, Wayde Compton, Robert Sandiford, Suzette Mayr, Claire Harris, Pamela Mordecai, and Ayanna Black.

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Contributor notes

H Nigel Thomas immigrated to Canada in 1968 and now resides in Montreal. His short stories, poems and essays have been published in numerous journals and anthologies. He is the author of From Folklore to Fiction A Study of Folk Heroes in the Black American Novel; Spirits in the Dark (shortlisted for the Hugh MacLennan Fiction Award); How Loud Can the Village Cock Crow? and Other Stories; Moving through Darkness; Behind the Face of Winter, and Return to Arcadia.

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Editorial Review

"Indispensable . . . Overall there is a sense in which the writers interviewed in this collection know they are contributing to an absolutely necessary project guaranteed to aid future writers and readers, with its discussions of the political and literary contexts, as well as formal and aesthetic aspects, of current Black Canadian writing." --The University of Toronto Quarterly

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