JHI Home
About Us
Research Communities
Fellowships & Calls for Funding
Working Groups
Humanities At UofT
Events and Exhibitions

City of Words presents Lawrence Hill

City of Words presents Lawrence Hill
UTSC Leigha Lee Browne Theatre
Time: Feb 1st, 11:00 am End: Feb 1st, 1:00 pm
Interest Categories: Information, Faculty of, English and Drama (UTM), English (UTSC), English (FAS), Drama, Theatre, Performance Studies (FAS), Diaspora/Transnational, Critical Theory, Comparative Literature (FAS), Communications, Communication, Culture, Information and Technology (UTM), Classics (FAS), Canada, African, 2000-
Reading by Lawrence Hill, author of The Book of Negroes

The Jackman Humanities Institute's Program for the Arts on Location/Dislocation is pleased to present

City of Words:  Lawrence Hill

Lawrence Hill is one of the most gifted African Canadian writers working in Canada today, and one of our foremost theorists of the mixed-race experience.  He is the son of American immigrants — a black father and a white mother — who came to Canada the day after they married in 1953 in Washington, D.C. On his father's side, Hill's grandfather and great grandfather were university-educated, ordained ministers of the African Methodist Episcopal Church. His mother came from a Republican family in Oak Park, Illinois, graduated from Oberlin College and went on to become a civil rights activist in D.C. The story of how they met, married, left the United States and raised a family in Toronto is described in Hill's bestselling memoir Black Berry, Sweet Juice: On Being Black and White in Canada (HarperCollins Canada, 2001). Growing up in the predominantly white suburb of Don Mills, Ontario in the sixties, Hill was greatly influenced by his parents' work in the human rights movement. Much of Hill's writing touches on issues of identity and belonging.

Lawrence Hill's third novel was published as The Book of Negroes in Canada and the UK, and as Someone Knows My Name in the USA, Australiaand New Zealand. It won the overall Commonwealth Writers' Prize for Best Book, the Rogers Writers' Trust Fiction Prize, the Ontario Library Association's Evergreen Award and CBC Radio's Canada Reads. The book was a finalist for the Hurston/Wright LEGACY Award and longlisted for both the Giller Prize and the IMPAC Award.

Hill is also the author of the novels Any Known Blood (William Morrow, New York, 1999 and HarperCollins Canada, 1997) and Some Great Thing (HarperCollins 2009, originally published by Turnstone Press, Winnipeg, 1992). Hill's most recently published fiction is the short story 'Meet You at the Door', which appeared in the January-February, 2011 issue of The Walrus magazine.

Hill's most recent non-fiction book The Deserter's Tale: the Story of an Ordinary Soldier Who Walked Away from the War in Iraq (written with Joshua Key) was released in the United States, Canada, Australia, Japan and several European countries.

In 2010-11, Hill received honorary doctorates from the University of Toronto, Wilfrid Laurier University and the University of Waterloo, the Bob Edwards Award from the Alberta Theatre Projects, and was named Author of the Year by Go On Girl, the largest African-American women's book club in the United States. Hill won the National Magazine Award for the best essay published in Canada in 2005 for "Is Africa's Pain Black America's Burden?" (The Walrus, February 2005). In 2005, the 90-minute film document that Hill wrote, Seeking Salvation: A History of the Black Church in Canada, Travesty Productions, Toronto (2004), won the American Wilbur Award for best national television documentary.

Formerly a reporter with The Globe and Mail and parliamentary correspondent for The Winnipeg Free Press, Hill also speaks French and Spanish. He has lived and worked across Canada, in Baltimore, and in Spain and France. He is an honorary patron of Canadian Crossroads International, for which he travelled as a volunteer to the West African countries Niger, Cameroon and Mali. Hill is also a member of the Council of Patrons of the Black Loyalist Heritage Society, and of the Advisory Council of Book Clubs for Inmates. He has a B.A. in economics from Laval University in Quebec City and an M.A. in writing from Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore. Hill lives in Hamilton, Ontario.

Accessibility:  The LLB Theatre lobby is SY001 and accessibility entrances can be arranged via the SY elevator.

Download flyer [pdf]

About JHI | Contact JHI | UofT | Follow us on Twitter twitter icon

Copyright © 2011-2014 University of Toronto. Jackman Humanities Institute. All Rights Reserved.
Tel: (416) 978-7415 Fax: (416) 946-7434, 170 St. George Street, Tenth Floor, Toronto, ON, Canada, M5R 2M8