A NovelBook - 2008
Winner of the 2009 Toronto Book Award
From the winner of the 2002 Giller Prize comes Austin Clarke's much anticipated new novel, More . At the news of her son's involvement in gang crime, Idora Morrison collapses in her rented basement apartment. For four days and nights, she retreats into a vortex of memory, pain, and disappointment that unravels a riveting dissection of her life as a black immigrant to Toronto. Idora has lived in Canada for 25 years. She has struggled to make ends meet and her deadbeat husband Bertram has abandoned her for a better life in America. Left alone to raise her son BJ, Idora does her best to survive against very difficult odds. Now that BJ has disappeared into a life of crime and gang warfare, she recoils from this loss and tries to understand how her life has spiraled into this tragic place. In spite of her circumstances, Idora finds her way back into the light with a courage that is both remarkable and unforgettable.
Perhaps the most political of all of Austin Clarke's novels, More is a powerful indictment of the iniquities of racial discrimination and the crime of poverty. It is in many ways a companion volume to the award-winning The Polished Hoe. While his previous novel was a metaphorical history of slavery, More is an allegorical story about the complexities of race in modern western culture. More is an extraordinary story about oppression and redemption and hope. From one of our masters of the novel form, this is very much a book for our times.