Directions Home

Approaches to African-Canadian Literature

By (author) George Elliott Clarke
Categories: Literary Criticism
Publisher: University of Toronto Press
Paperback : 9780802094254, 336 pages, September 2012

Table of contents




Divagation: Foreward

Approaching African-Canadian Literature (Again)

Passport: Essays

1. “This is no hearsay”: Reading the Canadian Slave Narratives

2. A. B. Walker and Anna Minerva Henderson: Two Afro-New Brunswick Responses to “The Black Atlantic”

3. Introducing a Distinct Genre of African-Canadian Literature: The Church Narrative

4. Afro-Gynocentric Darwinism in the Drama of George Elroy Boyd

5. Seeing Through Race: Surveillance of Black Males in Jessome, Satirizing Black Stereotypes in James

6. Raising Raced and Erased Executions in African-Canadian Literature: Or, Unearthing Angéique

7. Let Us Compare Anthologies: Harmonizing the Founding African-Canadian and Italian-Canadian Literary Collections

8. The Idea of Europe in African-Canadian Literature

9. Does Afro-Caribbean-Canadian Literature Exist? In the Caribbean?

10. Voluptuous Rapine: The Viscous Economy of ‘Vice’ in the Short Fiction of H. Nigel Thomas and Althea Prince

11. Repatriating Arthur Nortje

12. Locating the Early Dionne Brand: Landing a Voice

13. Maxine Tynes: A Sounding and a Hearing

14. Bring Da Noise: The Poetics of Performance, chez d’bi young and Oni Joseph

15. Frederick Ward: Writing as Jazz


Compass: Bibliography


The latest work from pioneering scholar George Elliott Clarke, Directions Home is the most comprehensive analysis of African-Canadian texts and writers to date. Building on the discoveries of his critically acclaimed Odysseys Home, Clarke passionately analyses the beautiful complexities and haunting conundrums of this important body of literature. Directions Home explores the trajectories and tendencies of African-Canadian literature within the Canadian canon and the socio-cultural traditions of the African Diaspora. Clarke showcases the importance of little-known texts, including church histories and slave narratives, and offers studies of autobiography, crime and punishment, jazz poetics, and musical composition. The collection also includes studies of significant contemporary writers such as George Boyd and Dionne Brand, and trailblazing African-Canadian intellectuals like A. B. Walker and Anna Minerva Henderson. With its national, bilingual, and historical perspectives, Directions Home is an essential guide to African-Canadian literature.


‘Clark’s research is impressive and humbling. Yet this is not the only reason why this book is a must have and must read. ’

- Alessandra Capperdoni