Tuesday, 14 August 2007
August writer: Rosa Guy
Rosa Guy was born in Trinidad in 1925. When she was seven her family migrated to the United States, and she grew up in New York City’s Harlem. Orphaned as a teen, Rosa and her sister lived in many foster homes and other institutions. She quit school at age 14 and took a job to support them. During World War II she became active in the American Negro Theatre. She attended New York University where she studied theater and writing. A number of her works deal with the realities of life in the urban American ghetto, the realities of life in the West Indies, family conflicts and the responsibility of family members to look after and love one another.
Ms. Guy is the author of fifteen novels, and has edited and translated several volumes. Along with with John Oliver Killens, she co-founded the Harlem Writer’s Guild, a writing workshop for aspiring black writers. Her work has received the Coretta Scott King Award, The New York Times Outstanding Book of the Year citation, and the American Library Association’s Best Book Award. In July 2005, Rosa was honored for her great body of literary work with the Phyllis Wheatley Award, given by the Harlem Book Fair. She lives in New York.
Bird at My Window (1966) is her debut novel. "Its brave examination of a loving, yet painful, relationship between a black mother and her son is even more important today. Rosa Guy is a fine writer and she continually gives us new issues to contemplate." - Maya Angelou
Other novels include: The Friends (1973), Ruby (1976), The Disappearance (1979), A Measure of Time (1983), and New Guys Around the Block (1983). My Love, My Love, or The Peasant Girl (1985) was adapted into the highly successful Broadway musical Once on This Island which was nominated for eight Tony Awards.