George Lamming

George Lamming
George Lamming

Perhaps the most famous writer to emerge from the island of Barbados, the now grandfatherly George Lamming was born on June 8, 1927. Though he grew up on the island, like so many West Indian writers he eventually left, emigrating to England in 1950. There, after spending some time working in a factory and broadcasting for the BBC, Lamming became a leader in a Caribbean renaissance that took place in England, along with other exiles like V.S. Naipaul. Since then he has traveled much, returning often to the West Indies but also serving as a visiting professor at the Universities of Texas and Pennsylvania.

 Lamming’s writing career has encompassed several genres, gaining acclaim not simply for fiction but also poetry and critical work. His fiction has taken up the familiar Caribbean search for identity, as Lamming (in such works as In the Castle of My Skin) uses details from his own autobiography to get at the root of the West Indian soul. However, in these explorations of identity and the effects of history, Lamming comes not only to writing of the West Indian psyche, but of humans in general. Despite critics’ accusations of using his novels as soapboxes from which he preaches his Marxist ideology, Lamming’s efforts to tie together collective history through the shared humanity of his characters ensure that his novels remain skillfully crafted and multifaceted.

Biography Source

Texts by LammingTexts about Césaire
  • In The Castle of My Skin” (1953)

    Citation: Lamming, George. In the Castle of My Skin. Penguin, 2016.
    Info: “Nearly forty years after its initial publication, George Lamming’s In the Castle of My Skin is considered a classic narrative of the Black colonial experience. This poetic autobiographical novel juxtaposes the undeveloped, unencumbered life of a small Caribbean island with the materialism and anxiety of the twentieth century.”

  • The Emigrants” ( 1954)

    Citation: Lamming, George. The Emigrants. Univ. of Michigan Press, 1994.
    Info: “First published in 1954, The Emigrants focuses initially on the emigrant journey, then on the settling- in process. The journey by sea and subsequent attempts at resettlement provide the fictional framework for Lamming’s exploration of the alienation and displacement caused by colonialism”.

    • Of Age and Innocence” (1958)

      Citation: Lamming, Mr George. Of Age and Innocence. Peepal Tree Press Ltd, 2011.

      An insightful exploration of the nature of race and ethnicity in colonial and postcolonial Caribbean societies, Of Age and Innocence follows the charismatic Isaac Shepherd, who returns to the island of San Cristobal to end an independence movement that unites the island’s diverse groups against the colonial establishment”

  • Rereading Aime Cesaire: Negritude as Creolization”  (2015) Souleymane Bachir Diagne

    Citation: Diagne, Souleymane Bachir. “Rereading Aimé Césaire: Negritude as Creolization.” Small Axe, vol. 19, no. 3 48, 2015, pp. 121–128., doi:10.1215/07990537-3341717.
    Info: “This contribution is an invitation to reread Negritude in general, and Césaire’s works in particular, as a movement and not an essence. It is a reflection on Césaire’s latest work, Nègre je suis, nègre je resterai (Negro I Am, Negro I Shall Remain), which is a response to those who considered Negritude something of the past to be superseded by the movement of creolization”.

  • From Louverture to Lenin: Aime Cesaire and Anti-Colonial Marxism” (2015) by Nick Nesbit

    Citation: Nesbitt, Nick. “From Louverture to Lenin: Aimé Césaire and Anticolonial Marxism.” Small Axe, vol. 19, no. 3 48, 2015, pp. 129–145., doi:10.1215/07990537-3341729.
    Info: “ This essay argues that Aimé Césaire remained committed to a nonaligned, tricontinental Marxism well beyond his resignation from the Parti Communiste Français in 1956”

  • Free and French in the Caribbean: Toussaint Louverture, Aimé Césaire, and narratives of loyal opposition” (2013) by John Patrick Walsh

    Citation: Cunningham, Tomaz. “Free and French in the Caribbean: Toussaint Louverture, Aimé Césaire and Narratives of Loyal Opposition by John Patrick Walsh.” Journal of Haitian Studies, vol. 20, no. 2, 2014, pp. 213–216., doi:10.1353/jhs.2014.0020.
    Info: “In Free and French in the Caribbean, John Patrick Walsh studies the writings of Toussaint Louverture and Aimé Césaire to examine how they conceived of and narrated two defining events in the decolonializing of the French Caribbean: the revolution that freed the French colony of Saint-Domingue in 1803 and the departmentalization of Martinique and other French colonies in 1946” .

  • What is Mine: Cesairean Negritude between the Particular and the Universal” (2002) by Doris L. Garraway 

    Citation: Garraway. “‘What Is Mine’: Césairean Negritude between the Particular and the Universal.” Research in African Literatures, vol. 41, no. 1, 2010, p. 71., doi:10.2979/ral.2010.41.1.71.
    Info: “Considering contemporary criticisms of Césaire’s most important theoretical construct, Negritude, in light of the anti-essentialist turn in postcolonial studies, this article deploys the critical vocabulary of Frantz Fanon in order to read Césaire as a theorist of colonial disalienation whose Negritude is not a fixed object but a process through which Césaire comes to problematize both black essentialism and the very idea of racial particularism itself”.