Winner of both the Giller Prize and the Commonwealth Writers' Prize, The Polished Hoe is acclaimed author Austin Clarke's masterpiece.
On a Caribbean island in the 1950s, elderly Mary Gertrude Mathilda commits murder. As she explains herself to police, her story exposes the ugly underbelly of life on Caribbean plantations, with its slavery and brutality.
When Mary-Mathilda, one of the most respected women of the island of Bimshire (also known as Barbados) calls the police to confess to the crime, the result is a shattering all-night vigil that brings together elements of the island's African past and the tragic legacy of colonialism in one epic sweep.
Set in the West Indies in the period following World War II, The Polished Hoe - an Essence best seller and a Washington Post Book World Most Worthy Book of 2003 - unravels over the course of 24 hours but spans the collective experience of a society characterized by slavery.
"Brilliantly written dialogue, a rich, dancing patois that fills out the dimensions of the island's painful history and its complex caste system." (Publishers Weekly)
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the murder mystery is not the point
- connie "Narrative makes the world go round."