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Garth St Omer Biography

(1931– ), Syrop, Introduction Two: Stories by New Writers, A Room on the Hill

Literature Reference: American Literature, English Literature, Classics & Modern FictionEncyclopedia of Literature: St Juliot Cornwall to Rabindranath Tagore Biography

West Indian novelist, born in St Lucia, where his major works are implicitly set; he was educated at the University of the West Indies at Mona, Jamaica, and at Princeton. His reputation as a writer rests chiefly on a small number of novellas. A masterly practitioner of the form, St Omer employs a method of narrative in which intense introspection and striking imagery predominate over conventional story-telling. His first novella, Syrop (published in Faber's Introduction Two: Stories by New Writers, 1964), is a dramatic depiction of an adolescent boy's short journey to manhood and death. Other novellas, all displaying a harsh and bleakly fatalistic vision of life, include A Room on the Hill (1968), Shades of Grey (1968), which contains ‘Light on the Hill’ and ‘Another Place, Another Time’, Nor Any Country (1969), and J-, Black Bam and the Masqueraders (1972).

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