Explore

You Should Add These Caribbean Writers To Your Reading List

By Kelsey Marie

Share

Life in the Caribbean is much more than laying around on a beach, sipping coconut water. Much like anywhere else in the world, life in the Caribbean is replete with systemic issues like racism, classism and family dysfunction.

From the beginning of time, these problems have been documented by writers and put into books, essays and poems. Unfortunately, many Caribbean writers and their stories haven’t been acknowledged outside of the islands.

In an effort to bring more awareness to Caribbean writers, here are a few you should add to your reading list:

George Lamming

George Lamming, courtesy of blackhistorymonth

Hailing from Barbados, George Lamming is an author, essayist and poet. He writes about life in the Caribbean in the coming-of-age novel, The Castle of My Skin.

Lamming has written six novels which focuses on emigrating as a person from the Caribbean and sharing the Caribbean narrative from his point-of-view.

Works to read: In The Castle of My Skin, The Emigrants, Natives of My Person


V.S. Naipaul

V.S. Naipaul, courtesy of Getty Images

This Nobel Prize-winning author built his career by writing stories of his experiences growing up in Trinidad. His early works portrayed his upbringing and life in Trinidad through a comedic lens.

Naipaul went on to write both non-fiction and fictional works tacking the issues of decolonization and human existence in the Caribbean. He had written over thirty books before his death in 2018.

Works to read: A Bend In The River, The House for Ms Biswas

Jamaica Kincaid

Jamaica Kincaid, courtesy of Getty Images

Born as Elaine Cynthia Potter, this Antigua-born writer changed her name to Jamaica Kincaid after her work was first published. Her name change gave Kincaid the freedom to write about what she wanted without hesitancy.

Kincaid’s work is loosely based on her life and deals with family issues, colonialism and sexuality through the eyes of a Caribbean woman.

Works to read: Annie John, Lucy

Afua Cooper

Afua Cooper, courtesy of blackincanada

If you’re into poetry, this Jamaican-born poet should be on your list. Cooper has published five books of poetry and explores the themes of slavery and abolition.

Cooper incorporates the voices and musical rhythms of the black diaspora in her poetry.

Works to read: Memories Have Tongue

Edwidge Danticat

Edwidge Danticat, courtesy of Getty Images

This Haitian-born author started writing at the age of 9. At the age of 12, she immigrated to the U.S. which hugely impacted her views on race that she shares in her writing.

Dandicat is a huge advocate for issues facing Haitians in Haiti and abroad. Her works explore the themes of Haitian identity, mother-daughter dynamics and the cultural legacy of Haiti.

Works to read: Krik? Krak!, Claire of the Sea Light

The stories of Caribbean history, culture and experiences are being told. It is our responsibility to bring more awareness to them. These are just a few of the writers contributing to the documentation of the Caribbean experience.

Share
Travel Noire

Kelsey Marie

Kelsey-Marie is an NYC girl who currently lives in Johannesburg, South Africa.

Want more?

Get exclusive, unpublished tips from Travel Noire's CEO to help you get off the beaten path, into the hearts of locals and onto a better, more cultured life.

The Caribbean’s On Hurricane Watch, What To Know About Tropical Storm Dorian

The Caribbean’s On Hurricane Watch, What To Know About Tropical Storm Dorian

A tropical storm warning is in effect for several Caribbean islands as Tropical Storm Dorian approached the region on Monday morning.  Just before noon ET on Monday, the storm was approximately 135 miles southeast of Barbados, moving to the northwest at around 14 mph, an alert from the National Hurricane Center reads.  Forecasters said the […]

Parker Diakite

Why This Traveling Couple Carves Time For ‘Self’ On Vacation

Why This Traveling Couple Carves Time For ‘Self’ On Vacation

The saying goes that a picture is worth a thousand words but that wouldn’t be nearly enough to describe Jacinta’s travel experiences with her new fiancé, Jeffrey. From Barbados to Greece, the two have managed to sneak in six countries during their two-year relationship. Country number seven is on the way this fall but the […]

Parker Diakite

You Have To Experience These 10 Things When In Barbados

You Have To Experience These 10 Things When In Barbados

Heavily influenced by English colonialism and West African tradition, Barbados is a vacation spot that will leave you refreshed, energized, and more knowledgeable than when you arrived. The west coast is lined with shimmery golden beaches while the east coast is filled with boulders and adventure. Bridgetown, the capital, is a colonial architectural dream; making […]

Kelsey Marie / Barbados