More: A Novel

by Austin Clarke | Literature & Fiction | This book has not been rated.
ISBN: 9780887623530 Global Overview for this book
Registered by wingPooker3wing of Winnipeg, Manitoba Canada on 9/28/2008
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2 journalers for this copy...
Journal Entry 1 by wingPooker3wing from Winnipeg, Manitoba Canada on Sunday, September 28, 2008
So I bought a couple dozen used books at the Grace Hospital sale. What did I do on the way home? Stopped in at a bookstore of course and bought a shiny new one!

There oughta be a program.

Of course no program will work unless you want to be helped!

Journal Entry 2 by wingPooker3wing from Winnipeg, Manitoba Canada on Saturday, October 11, 2008
When I was in high school, about forty years ago, I wrote a short story for an English assignment. Our teacher had distributed a bunch of post cards. We were to pick one and write the story the postcard inspired in us. The card that I had picked was one of those black and white artsy ones. It depicted a silhouette of palm trees on an island beach. The story I came up with featured a single immigrant mother sitting under the fire escape of her New York tenement bemoaning her drab fate at having left Puerto Rico for the gold-paved streets of America (must have just seen West Side Story is my guess now) while her scrawny dusty-legged five year old sits in the gravel and broken glass of the parking lot drawing a picture. The end of the story has the little girl present her mother with the picture she has drawn. It's the scene in the postcard but drawn in bright blues and greens with a happy yellow sun. I had been quite pleased with my story and thought it quite profound, but was disappointed in my teacher's comments on receiving my story back. While he had complimented me on my writing skill, he suggested that my story was "trite". Hmphhh.

And that was among my first thoughts as I read this novel, "Isn't this all just a little trite?" This is Canada for heaven's sake, in my view one of the nicest, most tolerant, multicultural countries in the world. I live in Winnipeg, home to Folklorama. We embrace other cultures, curious about the food, the music, the fashion, the customs of people not originally from this country. I had a hard time believing that Idora would feel uncomfortable on the bus as she rode though other neighbourhoods, frightened by the young hoods on the train, compelled to whiten her face with make-up.

"Blang! Blang! Buh-lang!"

But then I remembered the fellow who drives the shuttlebus for my car dealership. He has a professional degree from his own country and cannot get work in his field here. He told me about his worries for his wife who, unlike him, has not learned to speak English and who feels isolated and just wants to go home even though he says it is very dangerous there. And of working three jobs to be able maintain their little house and at the same time send his kids to private school and when I asked him why private school when we have a very good public school system, I sent my children to public school, he said it was to keep them out of gangs. Yet he worries that the gangs have found them anyway.

And I thought about the Immigrant Women's group with whom I've talked and how while they're interested in all manner of "Canadian" things like what level of physical discipline is permitted by the law, inevitably the talk turns to how everyone is going to get safely home that night.

And I thought about the staggering number of aboriginal and non-aboriginal gangs in Winnipeg and how those such as the Mad Kowz recruit from immigrants in the inner city. In fact, Googling gang activity in Winnipeg, found me at a white supremest site reading comments about the value of "just letting them at each other" and how Haitians are the worst because "even all other Blacks hate them."

"Blang! Blang! Buh-lang!"

So I climbed into bed with Idora for four days and nights, well three and a half nights really, and rode the bus and the train with her, and put on make-up and picked out outfits and had a few drinks and some smokes and watched hockey and laughed and looked in the mirror at our reflections and talked about our thrildren and wept, and dared to hope.

A remarkable book, one I will not soon forget.

Journal Entry 3 by wingPooker3wing at Winnipeg, Manitoba Canada on Saturday, January 03, 2009

Released 10 yrs ago (1/3/2009 UTC) at Winnipeg, Manitoba Canada

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In the "You're in Canada Now" prize box and off to KarmelK today. Hope you enjoy it KK.

Journal Entry 4 by KarmelK from Jerome, Michigan USA on Tuesday, January 20, 2009
Came today in the "You're in Canada Now" prize box from Pooker3. Thanks for including it in the box. KK

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