Samuel Selvon


Trinidadian Authors & Artists

Date of Birth (DOB): 5/20/1923
Died: 4/16/94
From: Trinidad and Tobago
Best Known for: Author of A Brighter Sun and the Lonely Londoners

Bio: Samuel Selvon, author of novels, plays, film, television, and radio, was born in 1923 in South Trinidad to an Indian father and an Indian-Scottish mother. He graduated from San Fernando's Naparima College in 1938.

He began writing fiction and poetry while he served in the Royal Navy reserve during World War II. After the war, he began his literary carer as the fiction editor of the Trinity Guardian's literary magazine until he journeyed to Britain in 1950.

In London his short stories and poetry were published in various journals and newspapers, including the London Magazine, New Statesman, and the Nation. He also had success with his writing for other media. He worked extensively with the British Broadcasting Corporation during the 1960's and 1970's to produce two television scripts, Anansi the Spiderman, and Home Sweet India. he also produced numerous radio programmes, and a film version of the Lonely Londoners.

In addition to these accomplishments, Selvon has held a series of university appointments in the Caribbean, Great Britain, and North America. He has also received numerous awards, including two Guggenheim Fellowships (1955, 1968), Trinidad's Humming Bird medal for Literature (1969) and an honorary doctorate from the University of Warwick (1989).

Selvon Married Draupadi Persuad in 1947, with whom he had one child, and Althea Nesta Daroux in 1963, with whom he had three children. He moved to Calgary, Canada in 1978, and died of heart-attack during a visit to Trinidad in 1994.

He is perhaps best known for his novels from A Brighter Sun and the Lonely Londoners. Both are expressive and humorous explorations of Caribbean migrants in Britain, using loveable larger than life characters.'s complete profile on Samuel Selvon
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