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Library Market Hornblower Group Fall 2022 complete list

The Polished Hoe
20th Anniversary Edition
20th Anniversary Edition
By (author): Austin Clarke Foreword by: Rinaldo Walcott
Austin Clarke ,

Foreword by :

Rinaldo Walcott


Dundurn Press - Toronto



Product Form:


Form detail:

Trade, Flaps
Paperback , Trade, Flaps


General Trade
Sep 27, 2022
$25.99 CAD


8.5in x 5.5 x 1 in | 610 gr

Page Count:

512 pages
Dundurn Press
FICTION / African American & Black / Women
Fiction: general and literary|c 1950 to c 1959|Relating to people of the African diasporas / heritage
Scotiabank Giller Prize 2002, Winner Commonwealth Writers' Prize: Best Book (Canada and the Caribbean) 2003, Winner Trillium Book Award 2003, Winner
  • Short Description
This is a literary masterpiece that evokes the sensuality of the tropics and the tragic richness of Island culture.
A special 20th anniversary edition, with a new foreword by Rinaldo Walcott.

When an elderly woman calls the police to confess to a murder, the result is a shattering all-night vigil bringing together elements of the African diaspora in one epic sweep. Set on the post-colonial West Indian island of Bimshire in 1952, the novel unravels over the course of twenty-four hours but spans the lifetime of one woman and the collective experience of a society informed by slavery.

As the novel opens, Mary Mathilda is giving confession to Sargeant, a police officer she has known all her life. The man she claims to have murdered is Mr. Bellfeels, the village plantation owner for whom she has worked for more than thirty years. Mary has also been Mr. Bellfeels’ mistress for most of that time and is the mother of his only son, Wilberforce, a successful doctor.

What transpires through Mary’s recollections is a deep meditation about the power of memory and the indomitable strength of the human spirit. Infused with Joycean overtones, this is a literary masterpiece that evokes the sensuality of the tropics and the tragic richness of Island culture.

First published in 2002, The Polished Hoe won the Giller Prize, the Commonwealth Writers’ Prize, and the Trillium Book Award.

  • This new anniversary edition will feature a brand new cover to be designed by Toronto-based artist Shawn Skeir and a new foreword by Rinaldo Walcott
  • Gorgeous new trade paperback with flaps
  • Rinaldo Walcott lived with Austin Clarke during the time he wrote this Giller Prize–winning novel and offers new insight for readers
  • First published in 2002, The Polished Hoe won the Giller Prize and the Commonwealth Writers’ Prize

Austin Clarke (1934–2016) was one of Canada’s foremost authors, whose work includes ten novels, six short-story collections, three memoirs, and two collections of poetry. He worked as a journalist, a professor, and a cultural attaché in Washington D.C., while publishing acclaimed fiction, non-fiction, and poetry.

Rinaldo Walcott is a writer and professor in the Women and Gender Studies Institute at the University of Toronto. He is the author of The Long Emancipation: Moving Toward Black Freedom and On Property, which was shortlisted for the Toronto Book Award in 2021.

  • Trade and wholesaler advertising
  • Publicity campaign to targeted media and influencers
  • Representation at library conferences
  • Social media campaign and online advertising
  • Email campaigns to consumers, booksellers, and librarians
  • Digital galley available: NetGalley, Edelweiss, Catalist
  • Influencer mailing to select Canadian influencers

For more information contact
[email protected]

…brilliantly written dialogue, a rich, dancing patois that fills out the dimensions of the island's painful history and its complex caste system. - Publishers Weekly

An utterly extraordinary and thoroughly compelling tragedy of Shakespearean scope…stunning and heart-rending…it ought to be both widely read and deeply remembered. - Globe and Mail

An unqualified masterpiece. - Toronto Star

The Polished Hoe is a remarkable achievement. Its story is obviously deeply felt… - The London Free Press

It's an undeniably ambitious work...the story unfolds over one evening--which actually spans a lifetime... It was long past the time when Austin Clarke should have been acknowledged as one of Canada's most important and most accomplished writers. - Kitchener-Waterloo Record

…a wonderful book to meander through… - Quill & Quire

an incredible panorama of the post-colonial experience…an impressive work by a highly accomplished Canadian author deserved of recognition indeed. - Toronto's Women's Newspaper

…extremely ambitious…compulsively readable and challenging at the same time…This is an unforgettable novel. - Edmonton Journal

There's a mesmerizing stillness to Austin Clarke's latest novel - The New York Times

The Polished Hoe is a magnificent, breath-taking plunge into the secret depths of human relations…Clarke is a master at capturing the flavour and nuance of language and weaving its local intricacies into universal stories. - Wayne Grady, Ottawa Citizen

Austin Clarke's latest novel, The Polished Hoe, is that rare creation that soars above the earth to become more than the sum of its parts. - Books in Canada

Respect to Tindal Street Press for bringing to the UK this soaring and sorrowful novel of Caribbean life . . . The novel's language proves as lush, seductive - and dangerous - as its landscape

- Independent

An extraordinary tale of lust and oppression . . . a beautiful light-skinned "black" woman [is] forced by the ambition of her mother and the sexual appetite of her colonial master to live a dangerous double life as beneficiary and plaything of a society steeped in racial cruelty

- The Times

A richly crafted novel which eludes, defies categories; it is variously wistful and agonising, ironic and sensual; a tragic tale, relentlessly wrought

- 2003 Commonwealth Writers' Prize Jury Citation

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’Membering Austin Clarke 9781459730342 $39.99 CAD Aug 15, 2015

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