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Austin Clarke


Austin Clarke was born in Barbados, and came to Canada to attend university in 1955. He has had a varied and distinguished career as a broadcaster, civil-rights leader, diplomat, and professor. He has published ten novels, including the Toronto Trilogy (The Meeting Point, Storm of Fortune, and The Bigger Light), The Origin of Waves, winner of The Rogers Communications Writers' Trust Fiction Prize, The Question, a finalist for the Governor General's Award, and, most recently, The Polished Hoe, winner of The Giller Prize.

He is also the author of five short-story collections, including When He Was Free and Young and He Used to Wear Silks, When Women Rule, and There Are No Elders; and three memoirs, Growing Up Stupid Under the Union Jack, winner of the 1980 Casa de las Americas Literary Prize of Cuba, A Passage Back Home, and Pig Tails 'n Breadfruit: Rituals of Slave Food. Austin Clarke: A Biography by Stella Algoo-Baksh was published in 1994 and The Austin Clarke Reader, selected writings, in 1996. He is the recipient of numerous honours, including the 1999 W.O. Mitchell Literary Prize, the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Achievement Award, and the Order of Canada. Austin Clarke lives in Toronto.