Samuel Selvon

Samuel Selvon

Samuel Selvon (1923–1994) was a Trinidad-born writer. Selvon was educated at Naparima College, San Fernando before moving to London, England in the 1950s, and later to Alberta, Canada. He is known for novels such as "The Lonely Londoners" (1956) and "Moses Ascending" (1975). His novel "A Brighter Sun" (1952), detailing the construction of the Churchill-Roosevelt Highway in Trinidad through the eyes of young Indian worker Tiger, was a popular choice on the CXC English Literature syllabus for many years. Other works include "Ways of Sunlight" (1957), "Turn Again Tiger" (1958) and "Those Who Eat the Cascadura" (1972).

"The Lonely Londoners", as with most of his later work, focuses on the immigration of West Indians to Britain in the 1950s and 1960s, and the cultural differences which are often subtle and implicit to the dying Empire's fantasy of a "white nation". Selvon also illustrates the panoply of different "cities" that are lived in London, as with any major city, due to class and racial boundaries. In many ways, his books are the precursors to works such as "White Teeth" by Zadie Smith and "The Buddha of Suburbia" by Hanif Kureishi.


Critical works on Selvon include:

*Clement Wyck, "Sam Selvon's dialectal style and fictional strategy," (1991).
*Margaret Paul Joseph, "Caliban in Exile: The Outsider in Caribbean Fiction," (1992).
*Austin Clarke, "Passage back home: a personal reminiscence of Samuel Selvon," (1994).
*Mark S. Looker, "Atlantic Passages: history, community, and language in the fiction of Sam Selvon," (1996).
*Roydon Salick, "The Novels of Samuel Selvon," (2001).

External links

* [ TSAR Publications]
* [,,2265562,00.html Essay on Selvon by novelist Hari Kunzru]

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