Jan Shinebourne

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search

Jan Lowe Shinebourne (born 1947) is a Guyanese novelist who was born in Canje, Berbice, Guyana and was educated at Berbice High School and the University of Guyana. After school she was a reporter in Georgetown. She began writing in the mid-1960s and in 1974 she was a prize-winner in the National History and Arts Council Literary Competition. In 1970 she emigrated to London, England. She did postgraduate literary studies at the University of London.[1][2]

She has published a collection of short stories and three novels.

In Timepiece (1986), Sandra Yansen must leave behind the close ties of family and village when she goes away to take up a job as a reporter in Georgetown. The novel won the Guyana Literary Prize for a first work of fiction.[2]

The Last English Plantation (1988) is set within a labyrinth of political chaos in British Guiana in the 1950s. In the novel June Lehall has to confront her mixed Indian-Chinese background in a situation of heightened racial tensions, the loss of her former friends when she wins a scholarship to the local high school, the upheaval of the industrial struggle on the sugar estate where she lives, and the arrival of British troops as Guyana explodes into political turmoil.

Chinese Women (2004) begins as a story of unrequited love on a Guyanese sugar estate that descends into the obsessive world of stalking and the temptations of Jihad, told through the eyes of Albert Aziz, a Guyanese Indian Muslim.

In addition to being an author, Shinebourne also worked in London as an editor for several journals, as a political and cultural activist and as a college and university lecturer. She now lives in Sussex.


  • Timepiece (novel), Peepal Tree Press, 1986.
  • The Last English Plantation (novel), Peepal Tree Press, 1988.
  • Chinese Women (novel) Peepal Tree Press, 2010.
  • The Godmother and Other Stories (stories), Peepal Tree Press, 2004.


  1. ^ Author information at Peepal Tree Press.
  2. ^ a b Paola Marchionni, "Shinebourne, Jan(ice) [Lo]", in Lorna Sage, ed., The Cambridge Guide to Women's Writing in English, Cambridge University Press, 1999.
  • Gleerups “Other Englishes Literature”, Lennart Peterson, 2005