Scholars bookstore was closed, so we showed them some love by using this photo by Jenny Fisher.
Scholars bookstore was closed, so we showed them some love by using this photo by Jenny Fisher.

In this edition we’ll be celebrating Black History Month with a slew of great books to be found downtown.

Books And Things (Water St. between Simcoe and Hunter):

Start here to find a number of classic African-American narratives including My Bondage And My Freedom by Fredrick Douglass ($6), and single text containing both Douglass’s Narrative Of The Life Of Frederick Douglas, An American Slave, as well as Incidents In The Life Of A Slave Girl by Harriet Jacobs ($9). Beside both of those you’ll also find W.E. Dubois’ The Souls Of Black Folks ($3).

Dixon’s (Water St. between Simcoe and Hunter):

Look in Dixon’s classic literature section for Trinidadian writer Sam Selvon’s Moses Ascending ($5.95). Selvon actually spent some time in Canada, teaching Creative Writing at the University of Victoria. After that, he worked as a janitor at the University of Calgary, only to months later become a writer-in-residence there.

Although he failed to attract the attention of the Canadian audiences and critics, his work did go on to receive many national awards from Trinidad and Tobago (although several posthumously).

In Dixon’s contemporary literature section you’ll also find Ghanian author Ama Ata Aidoo’s most popular, as well as her first 1977, novel Our Sister Killjoy ($7.95).

You will also find there Jamaican-American author Michelle Cliff’s 1987 novel No Telephone To Heaven for ($6.95).

Mark Jokinen’s (Water St. between Simcoe and Hunter):

Mark’s buy two, get three deal is going strong, so stop into get some perhaps slightly pricier but harder to find stuff.

First published in 1988, Tsitsi Dangarembga’s Nervous Condition ($10) explores the life of  Rhodesian families in post-colonial Rhodesia, to understand the history of what we know of as Zimbabwe and the legacies of colonialism.

Somali writer, Nuruudin Farrah’s Sweet And Sour Milk is available. It is the first of the this perennial Nobel candidate’s trilogy Variations On the Themes Of An African Dictatorship.

One of the few Trinidadian writer’s to break into international readerships without ever leaving is Trinidad Earl Lovelace, having written both While Gods Are Falling ($8) and The Wine Of Astonishment ($8).

All of the above can be found in the African Literature section.

Knotaknew (George St. at the corner of Sherbrooke):

Canadian author Esi Edugyen’s critically acclaimed (and Canada Reads contender) Half-Blood Blues is available ($8.50).

Antiguan Jamaica Kincaid’s hard-hitting, short, and powerful Lucy is in the contemporary fiction section ($7.50) as is the recent Canadian smash and CBC mini-series, Lawrence Hill’s The Book Of Negroes.

Thea’s (Water St. between Simcoe and Hunter):

Drop by Thea’s to pick up two books from Nobel Laureate and American writer, Tori Morrison’s renown books, Sula and The Bluest Eye ($10 each). The Bluest Eye, Morrison’s first book, led to being both critically acclaimed, and creating efforts to ban it for the way it dealt with incest and child molestation and their intersection with racism.