Biography (Cyclopedia of World Authors, Fourth Revised Edition)
George William Lamming is one of the distinguished West Indian writers who came to prominence in Great Britain during the 1950’s. He is perhaps the most political writer of his generation. Born on June 8, 1927, Lamming spent his boyhood in a small village, Carrington, a few miles from Bridgetown, the capital of Barbados. At the age of ten, he witnessed riots in Bridgetown occasioned by the deportation of a Trinidadian union organizer. He attended Roebuck Street Boys’ School and won a scholarship to Combermere High School, where Frank Collymore, a teacher and editor of the influential literary magazine Bim recognized and encouraged his literary talent. His first efforts were poems, which he has continued to write occasionally. His early poems were regularly read on the British Broadcasting Corporation’s Caribbean Voices. Many of his boyhood and adolescent experiences are fictionalized evocatively in In the Castle of My Skin.
After high school, Lamming immigrated in 1946 to Trinidad, where he taught high school. Beginning to feel as confined as he had felt in Barbados, however, he immigrated to England in 1950. If in the Caribbean he was aware of the consequences of colonization, in Great Britain he discovered the problems of black immigration. He initially worked in various factories, but soon became involved in a weekly literary review program for the BBC. With his first novel, In the Castle of My Skin, which won...
(The entire section is 769 words.)
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Along with the novelist V. S. Naipaul and the poet Derek Walcott, the Barbadian novelist George Lamming is one of the most important figures in Caribbean Anglophone (English-speaking) literature. Lamming was born June 8, 1927, in Carrington Village, a small settlement about two miles from Barbados's capital, Bridgetown. Carrington Village was much like Creighton Village in the novel In the Castle of My Skin, in that it retained the basic structure of a plantation settlement. Lamming was raised by his unmarried mother and by Papa Grandison, his mother's devoted godfather.
Lamming attended the Roebuck Boys School in Carrington Village and was awarded a scholarship to attend Combermere High School, where a teacher encouraged his writing. When he was nineteen, Lamming left Barbados for the nearby island of Trinidad, where he obtained a teaching position at El Colegio de Venezuela. While in Trinidad, Lamming continued his involvement with the Anglo-Caribbean literary journal Bim and came to know a number of other writers like himself.
In 1950, feeling that Caribbean society was stifling his artistic ambitions, Lamming sailed for London. His literary output, previously limited to poetry, expanded. By 1960, Lamming had published four lauded novels and his study of cultural identity, The Pleasures of Exile. During this decade, he worked for the overseas division of the British Broadcasting Service and, as a result, traveled...
(The entire section is 397 words.)