Odysseys Home: Mapping African-Canadian Literature

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University of Toronto Press, 2002 - Literary Criticism - 491 pages
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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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Contents

V
27
VI
71
VII
86
VIII
107
IX
126
X
151
XI
163
XII
182
XX
288
XXI
297
XXII
305
XXIII
308
XXIV
310
XXV
313
XXVI
315
XXVII
319

XIII
211
XIV
238
XV
253
XVI
275
XVII
277
XVIII
279
XIX
285
XXVIII
321
XXIX
323
XXX
325
XXXI
339
XXXII
449
XXXIII
477
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Page 16 - ... black' is essentially a politically and culturally constructed category, which cannot be grounded in a set of fixed transcultural or transcendental racial categories and which therefore has no guarantees in Nature.

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About the author (2002)

George Elliott Clarke is Associate Professor of English at the University of Toronto.

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