From the dawn of civilization, man has been an author in his own way, with testimony of his writings found engraved on the walls of caves, on the trunks of trees and later on scrolls. As the years rolled by, man found a way to not only express himself in speech and writing but also in documenting and producing his work for posterity.
The years of slavery brought with it a new way of expression throughout the Caribbean, where man began to express himself through songs, odes and poetry, dance and movement, story-telling and miming.
The Jamaicans were no exception to this and were soon on their way to documenting and publishing their work. They had a lot to write, sing, mime and talk about, as their lives on the plantations took on new meaning.
Jamaica has been home to a number of authors, according to documented evidence as far back as the early 1920’s. Some of the notable ones includes:
Anthony C Winkler
Hugh B. Cave
John Edgar Colwell Hearne
M. G. Smith
Mary Anne Barker
Opal Palmer Adisa
Steven E McDonald
Trevor D. Rhone
The list of Jamaican authors is an extensive one but not much is documented except for a few biographies of more the recent authors, many of whom resides in other countries but still give credit to their homeland. Some of the books written by Jamaican authors have made it to the screen and many have been used in the classrooms as a collection of short stories and poems in Literature both in the Jamaica and other Caribbean nations.
The following are some of the notable childrens’ writers.
Lorrimer A. Burford
Authors of adult literature, both fiction and non-fiction, covers a vast number of topics ranging from stories, novels, poetry and quotes to politics, recipes, autobiographies and biographies. Not only are Jamaicans into writing, but they have also gone into publishing their own materials and many have gone into editing and proofreading.
Now a number of authors have sprung up all over the island, both young and old, each having a number of books to their name.
Whether it is a collection of poetry, novels, fiction or non-fiction writings, Jamaican authors have made their mark and are still riding high on the readers’ list as our cultural mix and language have blended themselves into an awesome concoction that leaves the readers spell-bound and wanting more.
Our experiences, both private and personal, our island and our people have been great inspirations to many a writer and has intrigued many who read, study or evaluate the material. Jamaicans, whether on the tracks, in the dancehall or on the stage, they were never on the back burner and neither are they as it relates to the field of writing.