Austin Clarkes Love and Sweet Food is actually a reprint of a book Clarke published with Random House about five years ago under the title of Pigtails n Breadfruit. The subject is the food he ate and learned to cook while he was growing up in Barbados. Its a shame the book was underdistributed the first time around because its a great read, and Clarke knows what hes talking about. Its as much a work of cultural analysis as it is a cookbook, although the recipes are all there, and theyre not hard to follow despite Clarkes charming if occasionally annoying use of dialect.
Be forewarned. This isnt the food youll get in a Barbados 4-Star resort. Its local food, the recipes (Clarke takes great pains to explain) that sifted down to the present from the black slaves who populated the sugar and banana plantations on the island. Mostly it isnt particularly subtle food, but it is serious cuisine for all that, and the several recipes Ive tried are excellent. They didnt make me feel as if I could go outside and lift the front end of a dumptruck as Clarke suggests they would, but they were delicious, and the food did stick to my ribs as advertised. Brian Fawcett
(Books in Canada)
-- Books in Canada
About the Author
Culminating with the international success of The Polished Hoe
in 2002, Austin Clarke’s work since 1964 includes ten novels, six short-story collections, and three memoirs published in the United States, England, Canada, Australia and Holland. In 1998, Clarke was invested with the Order of Canada, and since then he has received four honorary doctorates. In 1999, he was the winner of the W.O. Mitchell Prize, awarded to a Canadian writer who has produced an outstanding body of work and served as a mentor for other writers. In that year, he also received the Martin Luther King Junior Award for Excellence in Writing. Austin Clarke lives in Toronto.