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Digital Subscriptions > Quill & Quire > SEPTEMBER 2016 > Silently or loud

Silently or loud

Remembering author, poet, and broadcaster Austin Clarke, who died on June 26 at the age of 81
CLARKE AT HOME, 2015 His first book of poetry concerned a racially motivated murder in his downtown Toronto neighbourhood
PHOTOGRAPH BY FRED ANDERSON

Austin Clarke never considered himself part of the CanLit firmament. Despite his many achievements – which include winning the Scotiabank Giller Prize, the Commonwealth Writers’ Prize, and the Trillium Book Award for his 2002 novel The Polished Hoe; being longlisted for the Giller and winning the Toronto Book Award for his 2008 novel More; and being invested into the Order of Canada in 1998 – he refused to acknowledge the influence or importance of a Canadian tradition on his writing or outlook. In his 2015 memoir, ’Membering, Clarke wrote, “I have never held a Canadian writer as a model of my own work. This is simply because the theme and the style of Canadian literature are irrelevant to my work. I do not therefore see any connection, in the sense of ‘literary ancestry,’ to my writing. I am alone, singular, peculiar, and foreign to the establishment that governs and controls Canadian literature.”

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About Quill & Quire

Kevin Patterson meditates on war and terror in 'News From the Red Desert.' Changing spaces; 3 booksellers' survival strategies. Anosh Irani's new novel 'The Parcel' is of exceptional merit. It is both unsparing and a testament to the human spirit.
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