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Redemption song: A 2006 profile of Wilson Harris

The Caribbean Nobel laureate Derek Walcott paid humorous tribute to Harris in a poem called "Guyana", whose "surveyor", his brain sucked "pith-dry" by the sun, is "dumbstruck by a stone". His admirers have included Anthony Burgess, CLR James and the US poet Kathleen Raine as well as younger authors with Caribbean links - Caryl Phillips, Pauline Melville and Fred D'Aguiar. Yet despite a steady output of novels, essays and international honours, he remains little known to a wider public. His fiction, dense with symbolism and sensuous imagery, has little in the way of conventional plot or character. Drawing on dream, myth and archetype, it can be dazzling yet enigmatic.

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