Why We Write
Conversations with African Canadian Poets and Novelists
edited by H Nigel Thomas
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.
"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
Paperback ISBN: 978-1-894770-34-7
$24.95 CAD ordered from Canada
$28.95 CAD ordered from US
eBook ISBN: 978-1-927494-86-8 (EPUB)
Publication Date: 2006
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