Monday, 27 June 2016

The world has lost Austin Clarke - a lovely man and a great writer

It was back in the 80's, and I had just completed my first short story. Mr. Clarke was the Writer in Residence at the Toronto Public Library and part of his mandate was to read the works of amateur writers like myself and give us feedback.

Two weeks after I submitted my short to the library I received a call from Mr. Clarke. He had read my short story and asked me to come to his office so the could deliver his feedback in person. I was so nervous I couldn't stop shaking. Upon arrival Mr. Clarke looked me in the eye, smiled, said he liked my short then asked me if I'd like to have lunch with him and his publisher in the University of Toronto's Great Hall - an ornate, walnut paneled, regal dining room reserved for alumni.

R.I.P. Austin Clarke... and thank you for your generosity and kindness. I've read all your books and treasure each one.

If you folks in the blogsphere want to read "a great story, well told" (something Norman Jewison once said in reference to what filmmakers like myself should strive for) then buy a copy of Mr. Clarke's The Polished Hoe

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