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The Fiction of Garth St Omer: A Casebook

The republication of Garth St Omer’s novels, around fifty years after their original publication, has led to a new generation of readers discovering how modern a writer he is, whilst others have been remembering just how good the novels are. These qualities are documented in this casebook that brings together reviews from the time of first publication, later critical assessments, personal memories and contemporary re-assessments of St Omer’s small but important body of work.

Author(s)
Garth St. Omer, Antonia MacDonald-Smythe
ISBN
9781845233570
Pages
170
Price
Classification
Literary Criticism
Setting
Date published
24 Oct 2017

With the republication of Garth St Omer’s novels, around fifty years after their original publication, a new generation of readers has been discovering how modern a writer he is, whilst others have been remembering just how good the novels are. These qualities are documented in this casebook that brings together reviews from the time of first publication, later critical assessments, personal memories and contemporary re-assessments of St Omer’s small but important body of work.

To indicate that St Omer’s most sympathetic Caribbean critics have included Edward Baugh, Kenneth Ramchand and Gordon Rohlehr says something significant about the earlier recognition of his work, whilst the enthusiastic critical discussions of the young St Lucian scholars Malica Willie and Milt Moise indicate the lasting and still challenging qualities of writing about what would be their grandfathers’ generation.

Edited with an introductory survey by Antonia MacDonald-Smythe, essays discuss both individual novels (including St Omer’s never previously published novel Prisnms) and the themes that run through his work, including the significance of masks and masking, his sensitivity to issue of gender inequalities, his exactness in recording the complex nature of the interplay between race, class and culture, and his resolute honesty in acknowledging the real difficulty of moving from colonial to independent mentalities and his relationship to existentialist philosophy. Contributors include: E.K. Brathwaite, Cliff Lashley, John Wickham, Kenneth Ramchand, John Hemming, Maurice Capitanchick, Edward Baugh, John Robert Lee, Pat Ismond, Jacqueline Cousins, Gordon Rohlehr, Velma Pollard, Jane King, Milt Moise, Mallica Willie, Antonia McDonald and Jeremy Poynting.

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Antonia MacDonald-Smythe

Antonia MacDonald-Smythe was born and grew up in St. Lucia. She now lives in Grenada where she is a professor in the department of Liberal Studies, Senior Associate Dean in the School of Arts and Sciences, and Assistant Dean in the Graduate Studies Program.

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Garth St. Omer

Garth St Omer was born in Castries, St Lucia in 1931.

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