“Hill is a wonderful storyteller, never a reformer or a preacher…the narrative line is clear and purposeful and translucent…”
— The Montreal Gazette
Spanning five generations, sweeping across a century and a half of almost unknown history, this acclaimed and unexpectedly funny novel is the story of a man seeking himself in the mirror of his family’s past. Rich in historical detail and gracefully flowing from the slave trade of nineteenth-century Virginia to the present, Any Known Blood gives life to a story never before told, a story of five generations of a black Canadian family whose tragedies and victories merge with the American experience.
Project Bookmark Canada is a nationally registered charitable organization that is building Canada's literary trail by putting pieces of stories and poems in the exact, physical locations where literary scenes are set. In 2015, a Bookmark was placed in Oakville, Ontario, marking a scene from Any Known Blood.
In Spain, people have wondered if I was French. In France, hotel managers asked if I was Moroccan. In Canada, I’ve been asked — always tentatively — if I was perhaps Peruvian, American, or Jamaican. But I have rarely given a truthful rendering of my origins.
Once, someone asked, “Are you from Madagascar? I know a man from Madagascar who looks like you.”
I said: “As a matter of fact, I am. I was born in the capital, Antananarivo. We moved to Canada when I was a teenager.”
Another time, when a man sitting next to me in a donut shop complained about Sikh refugees arriving by boat in Gander, Newfoundland, I said: “I was born in Canada and I don’t wear a turban, but I’m a Sikh. My mother is white, but my father is a Sikh and that makes me one, too.” The man’s mouth fell open. I paid the waitress to bring him twelve chocolate donuts. “I’ve gotta go,” I told him. “But the next time you want to run down Sikhs, just remember that one of them bought you a box of donuts!