Famous writers from Trinidad and Tobago include Nobel laureate V.S. Naipaul, C.L.R. James, Michael Anthony, and Anthony de Verteuil.

V. S. Naipaul

Naipaul was born on August 17, 1932, as Vidiadhar Surajprasad Naipaul in Chaguanas, Trinidad. He received the Nobel Prize in Literature in 2001. Naipaul's Indian ancestors came to Trinidad as contract workers. In his early years, Naipaul lived with his mother's family. It wasn't until the age of six that he met his father, Seepersad Naipaul (1906–1953), who worked as a journalist for the Trinidad Guardian in Port of Spain. Later, his father was able to acquire a house in Port of Spain and reunite the family. Naipaul incorporated the story of his childhood and his father's in his novel "A House for Mr. Biswas."

In 1950, Naipaul went to England on a scholarship and studied at Oxford. After completing his studies, he initially worked as a freelance contributor at the BBC from the mid-1950s. However, shortly thereafter, he devoted himself fully to his writing career. Naipaul has been living in England since 1950.

In addition to his novels, Naipaul is known for his travelogues and accounts of different regions and cultures around the world. His numerous travels took him to India (multiple times), Zaire, Uganda, Iran, Pakistan, Malaysia, and Indonesia, among others. This activity earned him a reputation as a travel writer, although his accounts and analyses go far beyond the typical form of travel reports.

After his journey to Iran (during the aftermath of the Islamic Revolution) and other Islamic countries, he critically engaged with Islam and particularly with extremist movements in his book "Among the Believers: An Islamic Journey." Palestinian author Edward Said criticized Naipaul for stereotypically juxtaposing the East and the West like Rudyard Kipling and perpetuating old prejudices.

Naipaul received the Booker Prize in 1971 for his novel "In a Free State," the Jerusalem Prize in 1983 for "the Freedom of the Individual in Society," the Trinity Cross in 1989, and the Nobel Prize in Literature in 2001 for his body of work. In December 1989, he was knighted by the British Queen and became a Sir. In 1990, he was elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.





C. L. R. James

Cyril Lionel Robert James was born on January 4, 1901, in Tunapuna and died on May 19, 1989, in London. James was a cultural critic, journalist, and significant socialist theorist and writer. His works inspired many Caribbean socialists such as Eric Eustace Williams (although James distanced himself from Williams after he became the Prime Minister of independent Trinidad and Tobago and pursued a less radical political agenda), Maurice Bishop, Walter Rodney, and the sociologist, poet, and reggae musician Linton Kwesi Johnson.

In 1933, James moved to London, where he wrote a play about the freedom fighter Toussaint L'Ouverture, which premiered in the West End. He also wrote his well-known scholarly works there, including "World Revolution" (1937), a book on the history of the Communist International that was praised by Leon Trotsky, and "The Black Jacobins: Toussaint L'Ouverture and the San Domingo Revolution" (1938), which explored the revolution in Haiti and became a seminal work on the study of the black diaspora. It is considered a "historiographical milestone" because James conceived, without explicitly stating it, an "Atlantic perspective" that connected the Caribbean, Africa, and Europe. In London, he joined Trotskyist groups.

In 1938, James went to the United States and wrote important cultural studies about the country. He considered himself a Leninist, although he later (around 1949) rejected Lenin's concept of the party as a revolutionary vanguard. He joined the Socialist Workers Party (SWP) and sided with the minority faction led by Max Shachtman and Martin Abern in the party's split over the assessment of the social character of the Soviet Union in 1940. This minority faction founded the Workers' Party, and within it, James, Raya Dunayevskaya, and other party members formed an internal grouping called the Johnson-Forrest Tendency (Johnson and Forrest were the pseudonyms of James and Dunayevskaya). They developed an analysis of the Soviet Union as a state capitalist society. The Johnson-Forrest Tendency rejoined the SWP in 1947 but left again in 1949, forming their own organization called the Correspondence Publishing Committee. This group maintained close ties with Socialisme ou Barbarie in France.

During this time, James focused his attention on the growing black nationalist movement, as well as the struggles in industrial workplaces and the women's movement. During the McCarthy era, he was deported in 1952 and spent some time on Ellis Island, where he completed his book on Herman Melville. He became involved in the Pan-African movement and saw the revolution in Ghana as an important model for international revolutionaries. He was allowed to return to the United States in 1970 and was appointed to the faculty of Federal City College in Washington. Later, he moved back to London, where he remained until his death.

C. L. R. James is a recipient of the Trinity Cross, the highest honor of the state of Trinidad and Tobago at the time of its award.


  • Minty Alley. A novel. New Beacon Books, London 1971 (Nachdr. d. Ausg. London 1936).
  • Paul Buhle: C. L. R. James. The artist as a revolutionary. Verso, London 1988.
  • Aldon Lynn Nielsen: C. L. R. James. A critical introduction. University Press of Mississippi, Jackson, Miss. 1997.
  • Carol Polsgrove: Ending british rule in Africa. Writers in a common cause. Manchester University Press, Manchester 2012.
  • Kenton Worcester: C. L. R. James. A Political Biography. State University of New York Press, Albany, NY 1996.



Michael Anthony 

Anthony's parents were Nathaniel Anthony and Eva Jones Lazarus. His father died when Anthony was ten years old. As a child, he attended Mayaro Roman Catholic School, and from 1944, he received a scholarship to Junior Technical College in San Fernando. He then began training as a molder and worked for five years in a laundry in Pointe- -Pierre. However, for economic reasons, he emigrated to Britain at the end of 1954 when it was still the colonial power of Trinidad. Over the years, he held various jobs there. In 1958, he married the writer Yvette Phillips in London, with whom he has four children. From 1964 to 1968, he worked as a proofreader for Reuters. In 1968, he moved to Brazil for two years, where he worked for the diplomatic corps of Trinidad. He returned to Trinidad in 1970 and worked in the following years as an editor, radio host, and for the Trinidadian Ministry of Culture. In 1992, he accepted a teaching position in creative writing at the University of Richmond. He currently lives in Maraval. He is married and has four children.

Anthony's first published works were poems that appeared in the Trinidad Guardian in 1954, the year he emigrated. During his time in London, he wrote short stories that were published on the BBC program Caribbean Voices. The Caribbean community in London at that time included V.S. Naipaul, who, as a producer at the BBC, reviewed Anthony's submissions and recommended him to the publisher André Deutsch. From 1963, Anthony began publishing novels and short stories, initially with which depicted everyday or historical life in his homeland, often drawing on his own childhood and youth memories. The novel "Streets of Conflict" stands out in his work as it is set in Brazil during his time there. Since 1974, Anthony has also published non-fiction books on the history of his homeland.

Works (Excerpt)

  • The Games Were Coming (London 1963)
  • The Year in San Fernando (London 1965)
  • Green Days by the River (London 1967)
  • Streets of Conflict (London 1976)
  • All That Glitters (London 1981)
  • Bright Road to El Dorado (Nelson, Walton-on-Thames 1982)
  • The Becket Factor (Collins, London 1990)
  • In the Heat of the Day (Heinemann, Portsmouth 1996)
  • High Tide of Intrigue (Heinemann, 2001)
  • Butler - Till the Final Bell (Macmillan, London 2004)
  • The Briefcase (Circle Press, Port of Spain 2013)
  • The Lamp Lighter (Circle Press, Port of Spain 2013)

Anthony de Verteuil

Historian Michael Anthony de Verteuil was born on May 7, 1932, in London. His parents returned to Trinidad when he was ten months old. As a student, de Verteuil attended St. Mary's College, a Catholic high school in Port of Spain. At the age of 20, he decided to pursue a religious career and completed his novitiate in Quebec. He then studied at University College Dublin, where he graduated in 1962 with a Bachelor's degree in English and History. He was subsequently ordained as a Catholic priest. In 1963, he returned to Trinidad and took a teaching position at St. Mary's College. He became the director of the school in 1978 and retired in 1992. However, he continues to teach religion at the college and conducts masses on Trinity TV in his free time.

A significant focus of de Verteuil's work is on the history of the Franco-Creole people of Trinidad, an ethnic group to which he belongs. Due to his roots in the Franco-Creole community, he has access to documents and records from long-established families, providing a deep and vivid insight into the lives of the families who immigrated to Trinidad since the Cedula de populacion in 1783. Some critics have occasionally criticized de Verteuil's style for uncritically adopting Franco-Creole perspectives in the epochs he addresses in his books. This may appear old-fashioned or inadvertently comical to readers who are not familiar with the subject matter. Furthermore, it contradicts ethical standards of the 21st century, such as when he downplays the hunting of Maroons. Another focus of de Verteuil's work is the history of other ethnic groups in Trinidad. He has published books on the history and influences of Germans, Indians, Irish, Jews, and Corsicans in Trinidad.

In 1993, de Verteuil received the Hummingbird Medal in Gold, and in 2004, he was awarded an honorary doctorate by the University of the West Indies.

Works (Excerpt)

    1973: Sir Louis de Verteuil: his life and times, Trinidad, 1800-1900 (Columbus Publishers)
    1978: Trinidad`s French Verse 1850-1900 (Instant Print)
    1984: The Years of Revolt: Trinidad 1881-1888 (Paria Publishing)
    1986: Sylvester Devenish and the Irish in nineteenth century Trinidad (Paria Publishing)
    1987: A History of Diego Martin (Paria Publishing)
    1989: Eight East Indian Immigrants (Paria Publishing)
    1992: Seven Slaves and Slavery: Trinidad, 1777-1838 (Self-publishing)
    1993: Scientific Sorties (Litho Press)
    1994: The Germans in Trinidad (Self-publishing)
    1996: Surgery in Trinidad (Self-publishing)
    1997: The de Verteuils of Trinidad, 1797-1997: A case study of a French Creole family (Litho Press)
    2000: The Great Estates of Trinidad (Self-publishing)
    2001: Shepherds of God: Priestly vocations from the archdiocese of Port of Spain (Litho Press)
    2002: Western Isles of Trinidad (Paria Publishing)
    2004: Temples of Trinidad (Self-publishing)
    2005: The Corsicans in Trinidad (Litho Press)
    2006: The McShines of Trinidad (Litho Press)
    2008: Leon de Gannes, Trinidad`s Raconteur (Litho Press)

Source: Wikipedia