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The Past is Present

The African-Canadian Experience in Lawrence Hill’s Fiction


Christian Krampe

The Black tile in Canada’s mosaic has long been neglected – in historiography, literary criticism and public discourse. African-Canadian literature sets out to correct this absence. This study provides an in-depth look into the fiction of one of African-Canadian literature’s foremost writers, Lawrence Hill. His novels provide a counter-memory, an antidote to the forgetfulness and neglect which often characterize Canada’s attitude towards its Black minority both past and present. Dominant collective memory versions are thus corrected to reflect a more faithful Canadian mosaic. Whether it is the enslavement of Blacks in Canada, de facto segregation or racial profiling – Hill narrates histories which have rarely been told before. This book is the first to provide a comprehensive analysis of Hill’s historical fictions.

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