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Austin Clarke, acclaimed author of The Polished Hoe, remembered at Toronto funeral

Pioneering black Canadian writer Austin Clarke was remembered at his funeral on Friday as a man whose life "defies summarization."

Giller-winner penned 11 novels, 6 short-story collections, 4 memoirs, 2 poetry collections

The funeral for acclaimed Canadian writer Austin Clarke was held at Toronto's St. James Cathedral today.

Pioneering black Canadian writer Austin Clarke was remembered at his funeral on Friday as a man whose life "defies summarization."

Mourners filled the pews at St. James Cathedral in downtown Toronto to pay their final respects to the award-winning author, who died on June 26 at the age of 81.

Rinaldo Walcott delivered the eulogy for Clarke, citing his long list of notable roles, including documentarian, journalist, mentor and family man.

Walcott says Clarke had "graciously and eternally written our collective story and returned it to us as an intellectual gift."

Canadian author Austin Clarke dead at 81

6 years ago
Duration 5:42
Novelist Cecil Foster remembers his friend 5:42

The hour-long ceremony included a reading from one of the passages in Clarke's novel "More," and featured acoustic performances of Bob Marley's "Redemption Song" and "No Woman No Cry" by vocalist Julian Taylor.

Clarke was known for exploring the Caribbean immigrant experience in his 11 novels, six short-story collections, four memoirs and two poetry collections, including Giller Prize-winning novel "The Polished Hoe."

Austin Clarke is seen attending the 2002 Giller Prize gala in 2002, the year he won for his acclaimed novel The Polished Hoe. (Kevin Frayer/Canadian Press)

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