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JWIL pays tribute to George Lamming (June 8, 1927-June 4, 2022)

JWIL pays tribute to Caribbean literary luminary George Lamming, who passed away on June 4, 2022 at the age of 94. A towering figure in Caribbeana, Lamming was one of the pillars of a foundational period of our literature, part of the Windrush generation. Creative writer, thinker, scholar, teacher, journalist, he brought all his gifts to bear on the weighty ruminations on Caribbean societies and the search for solutions for our development. Nadi Edwards notes that Lamming  “was a brilliant writer whose complex experimental novels signaled the emergence of a distinct Anglophone Caribbean modernist fiction. He was also an insightful critic whose reading of folk culture, colonial exile and William Shakespeare’s The Tempest anticipated contemporary postcolonial theories of indigeneity, diaspora, and linguistic and cultural hybridity. To quote José David Saldivar, he is ‘the supreme commentator, the one author from our America, who pulls Old World colonialist and New World colonized writing into a coherent and continuous line’”. Lamming’s passing brings us closer to the end of an epoch, though his staggering legacy will never allow the “sun to set” on the Caribbean’s response to empire and its afterlives.