Michael Anthony was born in 1930 in a remote, rural area of southern Trinidad called Mayaro. Later, he went to school in the second largest town in Trinidad, San Fernando, before working in an iron foundry at Pointe à Pierre. In the 1950’s, Great Britain called on members of its former colonies to provide cheap labor in the mother country, and Anthony arrived there on December 26, 1954. He worked in factories and on the railways before joining Reuters, the international news service. In 1959, Anthony married; he and his wife Yvette had four children: Jennifer, Keith, Carlos, and Sandra.
In the late 1950’s, Anthony began publishing stories in the literary magazine BIM, a West Indian publication produced in Barbados. His first novel, The Games Were Coming, was published in 1963, but it was the second, The Year in San Fernando, that has received the most critical attention. Upon its publication in 1965, it had a cool reception from Caribbean critics. There were two primary reasons for this initial criticism. First, in a society in which education, autonomy, and a sense of cultural history are lacking, it was felt that those who produce art should protest and clearly demonstrate the need to fill these gaps. Second, as the novel is written with such apparent ingenuousness and charm, early critics failed to note the subtle intricacies of its construction. These two novels are positive in that they honor the culture of Trinidad and the high level of community involvement of its inhabitants.
The Year in San Fernando tells the story of one year in a young boy’s life, when he leaves his tiny village to...
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