African Canadian writer Clarke is a Giller Prize- and Commonwealth Prize-winning author whose works can be expected to bring the reader into the mind of the protagonist, and he doesn't disappoint with his new novel. The titular "more" is a metaphor for the dreams and aspirations of black Caribbean people looking for prosperity in the great White North: they want "more" education, "more" money, "more" employment opportunities, and higher social status. These are the dreams of the novel's protagonist, Idora Morrison, who works at the University of Toronto as an assistant manager in the kitchen. Idora wants her son BJ to be a university scholar instead of engaging in a life of crime. Clarke cannily uses flashbacks to show that Canadians have a long way to go in addressing race relations issues. Verdict This tough and affecting novel will shatter American misconceptions about Canadian race relations. A good option for serious readers.-Orville Lloyd Douglas, Brampton, Ont. Copyright 2009 Reed Business Information.
Prolific Canadian novelist Clarke finally found fame with his 2003 novel, The Polished Hoe. In this follow-up, Clarke stays true to his politically charged style, reporting various manifestations of racism through the life of a Caribbean immigrant living in Canada. Like the author, Idora Morrison is a Barbados native living in Toronto. Her deadbeat husband has left her for New York City, and her beloved teenage son has disappeared into gang life. Unable to cope, Idora loses herself in meandering stories of her life and 25 years in Toronto. She recalls daily prejudice from white Canadians, the embarrassment at her race's media degradation and her rewarding but uneasy friendship with Josephine, a white woman. Finding constant comfort in the Bible story of Jonah and the Whale, Idora finally, painfully, finds her way back to life. An introspective examination of cultural racism and the life of minorities, this detailed (though loaded) narrative should strike a chord with Clarke's audience. (Sept.) Copyright 2009 Reed Business Information.