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CrazyFruits » WELCOME TO CRAZY FRUITS BOOK CLUB » Andrew Salkey (30 January 1928 28 April 1995) was a novelist, poet of Jamaican and Haitian origin.

Andrew Salkey (30 January 1928 28 April 1995) was a novelist, poet of Jamaican and Haitian origin.

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He was born in Panama but raised in Jamaica, moving to Britain in the 1950s to pursue university education. A prolific writer and editor, he was the author of more than 30 books in the course of his career including novels for adults and for children poetry collections anthologies, travelogues and essays. He died in Amherst Massachusetts where he had been teaching since the 1970s, holding a lifetime position as Writer-In-Residence at Hampshire College.

born as Felix Andrew Alexander Salkey in Coln Panama to Jamaican parents, Andrew Alexander Salkey a businessman and Linda Marshall Salkey. When two years old Salkey was sent to Jamaica where he was raised by his grandmother and his mother who worked there as a teacher while his father continued to work in Panama.

Salkey was educated at St George's College, in Kingston, and at Munro College, in St. Elizabeth before going to England in the early 1950s to attend the University of London. According to Stuart Hall Salkey "quickly took his place at the centre of a small but outstanding circle of Caribbean writers and intellectuals.

For a critical period he was the key figure the main presenter and writer-in-residence in the Caribbean section of the BBC World Service at Bush House London and his programmes became a glittering showcase for a generation of writers including Sam Selvon and George Lamming who had made London their second home.

Established and aspiring authors were chivvied, cajoled, gently chastised, inspired and schooled to produce new work for radio on the Caribbean Voices programme over which Andrew Salkey often presided." After reading V. S. Naipaul's his first story Salkey encouraged him to continue writing.
At the BBC, he also helped write the production My People and Your People with D. G. Bridson a radio play about a love affair between a West Indian migrant and a Scottish skiffle player.


Salkey was a part of the West Indian Students Union (WISU) which provided an effective forum for Caribbean students to express their ideas and provided voluntary support to the "harassed" working-class Caribbean immigrant community during the 1960s, '70s and '80s. The association also included Gerry Burton, Arif Ali, Chris LeMaitre, John La Rose and Horace Lashley.


In the mid-1950s Salkey taught English at Walworth Secondary School (also known as Mina Road school) an early comprehensive just off the Old Kent Road in South-east London.

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