Other Free Encyclopedias » Literature Reference: American Literature, English Literature, Classics & Modern Fiction » Books & Authors: Award-Winning Fiction (Ke-Ma)

Lamming, George

novels novel

(Barbadian, 1927– )

Lamming's In the Castle of My Skin (1953) united all strands of critical taste in pronouncing it the authentic novel about growing up in the West Indies. Set in the 1930s this accurately observed narrative transcends the ‘realist’ genre; stylish without being precious. Lamming's novels explore the grand themes—freedom, independence, nationalism; but in his best work the imagined world is not sacrificed to the big idea. In Season of Adventure (1960) what excites is the middle-class heroine's search for identity as she attempts to connect—through a closely-guarded ‘ceremony of the souls’—with her forgotten and spurned African past. Of later novels Water with Berries (1971) explores the consequences for the artist devoid of a supporting community—a quirky reworking of Shakespeare's The Tempest. His 1972 novel Natives of My Person reconstructs a seventeenth-century voyage of colonization bearing out Lamming's belief that one has to ‘return to bearings’ to find a way forward.

Chinua Achebe, Caryl Phillips.

See CARIBBEAN  EM

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