Ian McDonald Biography
(1933– ), The Hummingbird Tree, Mercy Ward, Essequibo, Jaffo the Calypsonian, The Heinemann Book of Caribbean Poetry
Literature Reference: American Literature, English Literature, Classics & Modern FictionEncyclopedia of Literature: Harriet Martineau Biography to John McTaggart (John McTaggart Ellis McTaggart) Biography
Trinidadian poet, novelist, and editor, born in Trinidad to a colonial family, educated at Queens Royal College and Cambridge University. He is best known for his novel The Hummingbird Tree (1969), which powerfully evokes childhood scenes and gives rare insight into the attitudes and reactions of both white and Indian Trinidadians. When he later moved to Guyana, McDonald produced Mercy Ward (1988), a collection of poems that reflects the mixed quality of Guyanese life. These poems reveal acute powers of observation, wide sympathies, and great technical skill. Other collections of poems include Essequibo (1992), which explores aspects of Guyanese culture and landscape, and Jaffo the Calypsonian (1994). He is the editor, with Stuart Brown, of The Heinemann Book of Caribbean Poetry (1992).