Biography of Samuel Selvon

Samuel Selvon is a novelist and essayist born on May 20, 1923 in San Fernando, Trinidad and Tobago. A West Indian writer, he often brings his heritage into his published works, depicting experiences particular to people of color. From a young age, Selvon was an avid reader and writer, and he continued his studies of literature at Naparima College. He worked as a journalist for the Trinidad Guardian after graduation, while also writing short stories in his free time. He published his pieces in literary magazines under various pseudonyms, including Big Buffer and Michael Wentworth.

Selvon's first novel, A Brighter Sun, was published in 1952 to critical acclaim. Selvon's major breakthrough came with the subsequent publication of The Lonely Londoners in 1956, which brought him widespread recognition. The novel was praised for its innovative use of dialect and nontraditional narrative structure. It is often considered his best work of fiction. Selvon would go on to write several other books, including the novels Turn Again Tiger (1958), The Housing Lark (1965), Moses Ascending (1975), Moses Migrating (1983), and the short story collection, Ways of Sunlight (1957). Selvon received two Guggenheim Fellowships as well as the Hummingbird Medal Gold, Chaconia Medal Gold, and the NALIS Lifetime Achievement Literary Award. Selvon died of complications resulting from chronic lung disease on April 16, 1994.

Study Guides on Works by Samuel Selvon

The Housing Lark is a novel written by a Trinidad-born writer and journalist Samuel Selvon. The novel presents a comedic caricature of the experience of the West Indian immigrants in London. It shows the life and interactions of people of various...

The Lonely Londoners is a novel by Trinidadian writer Samuel Selvon, first published in 1956. It depicts the lives of various West Indian immigrants, showing their efforts to build a life in England.

The novel focuses on a Trinidadian man named...