George Lamming (Barbados, 1927)


Today is George Lamming’s 82nd birthday. Essayist, novelist, critic, and social commentator, Lamming was born on June 8, 1927 in Barbados. He grew up on the island but moved to Trinidad, where he was a teacher. He moved to England in 1950 where he was first employed as factory worker and then as a broadcaster for the BBC Colonial Service. Lamming soon became one of the leading Caribbean writers in Europe, along with other exiles like V.S. Naipaul. His writings were first published in the Barbadian magazine Bim and the BBC’s Caribbean Voices series broadcast his poems and short prose. Lamming himself read poems on Caribbean Voices, becoming the voice for (then) emerging Caribbean writers, such as Derek Walcott.

Lamming’s writing career has encompassed several genres, gaining acclaim not simply for fiction but also poetry and critical work. In these works, he explores identity and the effects of historical circumstances on colonized peoples. His In the Castle of My Skin (1953) is one of the classics of West Indian literature. Other works include The Emigrants (1954), The Pleasures of Exile (1960), Water with Berries (1971), Natives of My Person (1972), Conversations: Essays, Addresses and Interviews, 1953-90 (1992), Conversations II: Western Education & the Caribbean Intellectual (2000), and the latest, Sovereignty of the Imagination-Conversations III (2009) [also see New book: Sovereignty of the Imagination-Conversations III].

For more information, see

For photo, biography, and the author reading from In the Castle of My Skin at

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