Who is George Lamming?

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  • Last Modified Date: 09 November 2019
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George Lamming, born in Barbados on 8 June 1927, is an author of West Indian literature. His first novel, In the Castle of My Skin, published in 1953, is considered to be a classic text within West Indian literature. In addition to writing novel, Lamming also writes poetry, literary criticism, and social criticism. His writing in all genres has gained much acclaim. The many literary honors that he has been awarded include a Guggenheim Fellowship, a Canada Council Fellowship, a Langston Hughes Festival Award, a Somerset Maugham Prize for Literature, and a Felix Varela Award from the Consejo de Estado de la Republica de Cuba.

George Lamming has served as a Visiting Professor and Writer-in-Residence at the City University of New York. He has worked as a faculty member and lecturer at the University of Texas at Austin and the University of Pennsylvania. He has also served as a Distinguished Visiting Professor at Duke University and a Visiting Professor of Africana Studies and Literary Arts at Brown University.


As a young man in Barbados, George Lamming attended the Combermere High School. In 1946, he departed Barbados for Trinidad. He taught school there through 1950. After his time in Trinidad, Lamming emigrated to England. For just a short time, he worked in an English factory before becoming a broadcaster for the BBC Colonial Service in 1951. His career as an academic began officially in 1967 when he became a Writer-in-Residence and lecturer in the Department of Education and Creative Arts Centre at the University of the West Indies. In addition to his aforementioned American teaching and lecturing experience, Lamming has also taught or lectured at universities in Tanzania, Denmark, and Australia.

In addition to In the Castle of My Skin, Lamming has written the following novels:

  • Natives of my Person (1972)
  • Water with Berries (1971)
  • The Pleasures of Exile (1960)
  • Season of Adventure (1960)
  • Of Age and Innocence (1958)
  • The Emigrants (1954)

George Lamming is a highly political author. His politics certainly enter into his works of fiction, and he has also made them apparent in his published essays. Lamming has published the following essays:

  • "Western Education and the Caribbean Intellectual: Coming, Coming, Coming Home"(1995)
  • "Influencia del Africa en las litaraturas antillanas" ("The Influence of Africa on Antillian Literature") (1972)
  • "The Pleasures of Exile" (1960)

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