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Edgar Mittelholzer Biography

(1909–65), Corentyne Thunder, The Children of Kaywana, The Harrowing of Hubertus, Hubertus, Kaywana Stock, Kaywana Blood

kaywana novels reveal republished

Guyanese novelist, born in British Guiana (now Guyana) from where he moved to Trinidad before emigrating to England in 1948. His first novel, Corentyne Thunder (1941), describes the impoverished and degraded living conditions of Indian peasants in British Guiana during the 1930s. The Kaywana trilogy, which consists of The Children of Kaywana (1952), The Harrowing of Hubertus (1954; republished as Hubertus, 1955, and again as Kaywana Stock, 1968), and Kaywana Blood (1958; republished as The Old Blood, 1958), deals with the continuous history of Guyana from its settlement by Europeans in the seventeenth century to 1953, when the colony had its first elections under universal adult suffrage. These three novels reveal formidable powers of invention, historical reconstruction, and psychological insight. His novels are characterized by much physical violence, eroticism, and sensational action; many of them, for example Shadows Move Among Them (1951), also deal with abnormal psychology, sexual deviation, the supernatural, and the occult. Other novels reveal a similar iconoclasm aimed at the restrictive conventions and inhibitions of bourgeois society. Mittelholzer also produced With a Carib Eye (1958), a travel book; and A Swarthy Boy (1963), an autobiography. He pioneered the treatment of political, psychological, and philosophical themes in West Indian literature which suffered a tragic loss when he took his own life.

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