We were very saddened to about Jamaican author Hazel Campbell’s death on December 12, 2019. Here is an obituary piece by Peepal Tree Press.
Hazel Campbell was born in Jamaica in 1940, and passed away on 12 December 2018. One of Jamaica’s leading short story writers, her writing career spanned 50 years.
She attended Merl Grove High School and obtained a BA in English & Spanish at UWI, Mona, followed by Diplomas in Mass Communications and Management Studies. She worked as a teacher, as a public relations worker, editor, features writer and video producer for the Jamaican Information Service, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Creative Production and Training Centre. From 1987 she has worked as a freelance Communications Consultant.
Her first publication was The Rag Doll & Other Stories (Savacou, 1978), followed by Women’s Tongue: a collection of eight short stories, (Savacou, 1985). Her stories have also been published in West Indian Stories, ed. John Wickham, 1981; Caribanthology I, ed. Bruce St. John, 1981; Focus 1983; Verre Wereld; and Facing the Sea, ed. Anne Walmesley, 1986. At the time of her death, she had just signed off the proofs of Jamaica On My Mind : New and Collected Stories, due from Peepal Tree in 2019.
She wrote of herself: ‘Child of the 1940s when nationalism was raising its head in Jamaica, I attended schools where patriotism and budding political movements were regarded as extremely important. In spite of the pervasive use of foreign texts, we were encouraged to think Jamaican. This consciousness has remained with me to the extent that I get physically uncomfortable if I am away from Jamaica for too long a time. Perhaps that’s why I never migrated and why my work reflects almost a “”romantic”” view of Jamaica – its people, landscape and the very peculiar aura which makes it difficult to understand; difficult to live in; but nevertheless such an enchanting country.’
Hazel Campbell lived in Constance Spring, and was the mother of four children.