- 1915-2015 (Creation)
Level of description
Extent and medium
275 boxes (51.5 metres)
Name of creator
Lawrence Hill is the son of American immigrants who came to Canada the day after they married in 1953 in Washington, 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. His third novel was published as The Book of Negroes in Canada, Great Britain, South Africa and India and as Someone Knows My Name in the USA, Australia and New Zealand, and won numerous literary awards, including the overall Commonwealth Writers’ Prize for Best Book and the Rogers Writers’ Trust Fiction Prize. Hill is also the author of the novels Any Known Blood (William Morrow, New York, 1999 and HarperCollins Canada, 1997) and Some Great Thing (Turnstone Press, Winnipeg, 1992).
Immediate source of acquisition or transfer
Both the 2008 and 2015 accessions were gifted by Lawrence Hill.
Content and structure area
Scope and content
Includes extensive material related to published books by Lawrence Hill: Any Known Blood; Some Great Thing; The Book of Negroes/Someone Knows My Name [early titles ‘A Likely Wench’ and ‘Migration’]; Black Berry, Sweet Juice; Women of Vision: the Story of the Canadian Women’s Association; Trials and Triumphs: the Story of African Canadians; The Deserter’s Tale: the Story of an Ordinary Soldier Who Walked Away from the War in Iraq; 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; “Rainbow Coalition” for City Suites story and script for a CBC television series which was never produced; shorter pieces; journalism with The Globe and Mail, The Winnipeg Free Press, The Toronto Star and others; feature articles for The Walrus; unpublished work; juvenalia; extensive personal and professional correspondence; personal and professional photographs; extensive family history; works by various family members, including material related to Daniel Grafton Hill III and his work as Ombudsman of Ontario, as first director and later chair of the Ontario Human Rights Commission, founding with his wife Donna Hill the Ontario Black History Society; translations; research and personal notes; mentoring notes from his time at the Humber School for Writers; travel related material, appearances, events, awards and prizes; charitable and philanthropic activities; financial and other material related to the life and work of Lawrence Arthur Hill [inclusive dates of material, 1915-2008]
Selected correspondents include: Paul Quarrington, Jack Veugelers, Ayanna Black, Michael Enright, Robert Fulford, Leander Jones, Adrienne Shadd, Rosemary Sadlier, father Daniel Grafton Hill III, mother Donna Hill, sister Karen Hill, brother Dan Hill, current wife Miranda Hill, current mother-in-law Sandy Hawkins, ex-wife Joanne Savoie, grandmother May Hill; various other family members and friends, Louis Farrakhan, Iris Tupholme, Denise Bukowski Agency, Paul Lovejoy, Austin Clarke, Donald Smith, Alvin Duncan, Alan Borovoy and many others
Appraisal, destruction and scheduling
System of arrangement
Conditions of access and use area
Conditions governing access
Material may be requested in person at the Fisher Library Reference Desk, or in advance using our online stack retrieval request form: https://fisher.library.utoronto.ca/stack-retrieval-request.
Conditions governing reproduction
Language of material