Tuesday, April 27, 2010

2010 Toronto's One Book - Austin Clarke's Novel More

OK, April is poetry month and I have been writing about poetry all month and you are probably quite ready for something different.  I have been remiss - there is more to April than poetry month.  In Toronto we also have in April the annual Keep Toronto Reading event organized by the Toronto Public Library.

All month there have been events promoting reading held at the local library branches.  There have been book discussions, storytelling tours, exhibits and performances to promote reading in this city.  The biggest part of the Toronto Reads Month is the Toronto One Book and everybody is reading the One Book.  This year the winning book that all of Toronto is reading is Austin Clarke's novel titled More.

From the Toronto Library Website:

A haunting tale of hope and redemption

Although she has been in Toronto for 30 years, former Barbadian Idora Morrison – the central figure in More - is in crisis, in a dream-like state for four days in her basement apartment.
Abandoned by "that man" Bertram, her former husband; sick with worry over her missing teenage son, BJ; but supported (if conflicted) by her two churches, the West Indian community and her white friend, Josephine, Idora struggles.
Austin Clarke’s capable and evocative writing draws one easily into Idora’s world, a world of complicated race relations, contradictory emotions and mixed messages.

There are a lot of resources available to supplement the novel and bring it to life and you can go here to check those things out.  From looking through the material, which includes a map of the places in Toronto that Idora frequents and a digital excerpt with audio of actor Trey Anthony reading from the novel, it looks like a good read.   I heard Austin Clarke read a passage from his novel on CBC Radio one morning and that was enough to convince me I needed to read it.

For those of you who don't know him, Austin Clarke is a well known Toronto Novelist, Essayist and Freelance Journalist with the CBC.   From Wiki:
In 1998, he was made a Member of the Order of Canada. He won the Giller Prize for The Polished Hoe in 2002, as well as the Commonwealth Writers Prize in 2003.

Sadly, I am behind on my reading but intend on getting caught up on this one and have it on my must read list.

The thing that I enjoy the most about the Toronto Reads is one selection criteria which is that the City of Toronto is the setting for the chosen book.  Of course, one always has a soft spot for one's own home town.  It is so nice to recognize all the places mentioned a novel. That does make it extra special.

I somehow missed the Toronto Reads book last year (hmm another book for my must read list), but did read the 2008 novel and enjoyed it immensely. 

Here is where I wrote about the Toronto Reads 2008 Book Winner.   That year the chosen book was Consolation by Michael Redhill.  A highly recommended read - whether you are from Toronto or not.

I found this You Tube Video regarding the 2009 Winner. The interesting thing about the 2009 Winner is that it was a book of poetry. 

2009 Toronto One Book Winner
Loyalty Management by Glen Downie

I have on my to blog about list  (I do seem to have an awful lot of lists, eh?)  the 2010 Canada Reads CBC Competition.  This year's winner, Nikolski, by Nicolas Dickner, is on my book pile ready to tuck into.  Come to think about it there are far too many books on my ready to tuck into pile.  I need to find some time to put my feet up and read.  But isn't that what summer is for  - sitting on your balcony or patio and reading?  Bring on Summer!

1 comment:

  1. I'm currently reading a book called "Hawaiian Sunrise" by Lauraine Snelling. I would put this book in the romance genre. I enjoy reading romance novels but am finding this book quite interesting, as it takes place in Hawaii near where we will be visiting his brother and our sister-in-law next month.


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