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    Distributor: Random House, Inc. Availability: On Sale Date:Aug 04, 2020 Carton Quantity:24 $21.00 CAD
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This Side Jordan
Penguin Modern Classics Edition
By (author): Margaret Laurence
9780771057748 Paperback, Trade English General Trade FICTION / Historical / General Aug 04, 2020
$21.00 CAD
Active 5.18 x 7.97 x 0.74 in | 0.56 lb 296 pages McClelland & Stewart
A major work of lasting significance, This Side Jordan creates echoes in the mind of the reader as resonant as the drums of Ghana.

Best known for her novels about the Canadian prairie, Margaret Laurence began her career writing about West Africa. Based on her experience living with her husband on the Gold Coast (now Ghana) in the years just before independence, This Side Jordan confronts issues of race relations, sexism, and colonial exploitation.

This lyrical, vivid novel addresses all of the tensions of the time: the excitement, anticipation, and dread felt by both the Africans and the English as they confronted a new order. The book’s hero, a school teacher torn between duty to his tribe and aspirations for his country’s future in the modern world, names his son “Joshua” as a sign of hope that he will claim and enjoy his homeland. This Side Jordan anticipates many of the political and racial issues that were to plague Ghana over the next fifty years. Evocative and poignant, it is a subtle study of the effects of colonialism, culture clash, and the resilience of hope in new political identity.

Story Locale: Ghana, West Africa

NOW IN PMC: Margaret Laurence’s first novel now in Penguin Modern Classics.

INTERNATIONAL SETTING: While most of Laurence’s novels were set in Canada, This Side Jordan is based in Ghana.

Margaret Laurence was born in Manitoba in 1926. Upon graduation from Winnipeg’s United College in 1947, she took a job as a reporter for the Winnipeg Citizen. From 1950 until 1957 Laurence lived in Africa, the first two years in Somalia, the next five in Ghana, where her husband was working. She translated Somali poetry and prose during this time, and began her career as a fiction writer with stories set in Africa. When Laurence returned to Canada in 1957, she settled in Vancouver, where she devoted herself to fiction with a Ghanaian setting: in her first novel, This Side Jordan, and in her first collection of short fiction, The Tomorrow-Tamer. Her two years in Somalia were the subject of her memoir, The Prophet’s Camel Bell. Separating from her husband in 1962, Laurence moved to England and wrote five books about the fictional town of Manawaka, patterned after her birthplace, and its people: The Stone Angel, A Jest of God, The Fire-Dwellers, A Bird in the House, and The Diviners. Laurence settled in Ontario in 1974. She complemented her fiction with essays, book reviews, and four children’s books. Her many honours include two Governor General’s Awards for Fiction and more than a dozen honorary degrees. Margaret Laurence died in 1987.

Author Hometown: Neepawa, Manitoba

PRAISE FOR THIS SIDE JORDAN:

“Artistically and expertly written and constructed, this novel is of unusual and noteworthy calibre.”—Kirkus Reviews

“Highly recommended as a good and timely read.”—Library Journal

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