George Elliott Clarke
Carl Black is an intellectual and artist, a traveller, a reader and an unapologetic womanizer. A motorcyclist. He burns for the bohemian life, but is trapped in a railway porter's prosaic — at times humiliating — existence. Taking place over one dramatic year in Halifax, Nova Scotia, The Motorcyclist vividly recounts Carl's travels and romantic exploits as he tours the backroads of the East Coast and the bedrooms of a series of beautiful women. Inspired by the life of George Elliott Clarke's father, the novel tells the story of a black working-class man caught between the expectations of his times and gleaming possibilities of the open road. (From HarperCollins)
Carl thrusts back bedclothes — a bristling surf — and leaps up, ascendant, urgent to start motorcycling afresh: to get from Easter to Christmas, astraddle. He dabs Brylcreem on his Negro curls; he slaps Snap on his hands, to scour off even invisible grit. Quick, he sheathes himself in black leather chic, from boots to jacket. The boots are so polished that sunlight, enmeshed in that dark dazzle, mirrors a solar eclipse.
From The Motorcyclist by George Elliott Clarke ©2016. Published by HarperCollins.