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Fiction Cultural Heritage

Storm of Fortune

The Toronto Trilogy

by (author) Austin Clarke

Knopf Canada
Initial publish date
Sep 1998
Cultural Heritage, Historical, City Life
  • Paperback / softback

    Publish Date
    Sep 1998
    List Price

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This is the second book in Austin Clarke’s groundbreaking Toronto Trilogy about the lives of black people in Canada. In Storm of Fortune, Clarke brings us into a circle of West Indian domestics—their friends, lovers, spouses, and employers—living in Toronto in the late 1950s. In lush, invigorating prose, Clarke illuminates the world of Bernice Leach—a world inhabited by earthy, garrulous, but terribly isolated people, all living, working, and struggling within an alien, white, Canadian culture. He brilliantly articulates the unsettled attitudes of his characters towards themselves, their community, and their fellow immigrants, exploring questions of status and social mobility. In turn, he unites these themes into a devastating commentary on the quest for success in North America.

Dominated by warm, superbly drawn characters and pulsing with the nation language of Clarke’s characters’ speech, Storm of Fortune is a window into one of the most dynamic periods of Canadian history—one that has brought so much to bear on our present.

About the author

Culminating with the international success of The Polished Hoe in 2002, Austin Clarke has published ten novels, six short story collections, and three memoirs in the United States, England, Canada, Australia, and Holland. Storm of Fortune, the second novel in his Toronto Trilogy about the lives of Barbadian immigrants, was shortlisted for the Governor General’s Award in 1973. The Origin of Waves won the Rogers Communications Writers’ Development Trust Prize for Fiction in 1997. In 1999, his ninth novel,The Question, was shortlisted for the Governor General’s Award. In 2003 he had a private audience with Queen Elisabeth in honour of his Commonwealth Prize for his tenth novel, The Polished Hoe. In 1992 Austin Clarke was honored with a Toronto Arts Award for Lifetime Achievement in Literature, and in 1997, Frontier College granted him a Lifetime Achievement Award. In 1998 he was invested with the Order of Canada, and he has received four honorary doctorates. In 1999 he received the Martin Luther King Junior Award for Excellence in Writing.

Austin Clarke's profile page

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