Oonya Kempadoo

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Oonya Kempadoo is a writer who was born in Sussex, England, in 1966 of Guyanese parents,[1] her father being the writer Peter Kempadoo.[2]


She was brought up in Guyana and has studied art in Amsterdam. She has also lived in Trinidad, St. Lucia, and Tobago, and now lives in Grenada.

Her first novel, Buxton Spice, was published 1998. The New York Times described it as "superb, and superbly written".[3] Her second book, Tide Running (Picador, 2001), set in Plymouth, Tobago, is the story of young brothers Cliff and Ossie.[4]

Both of these books were nominated for International IMPAC Dublin Literary Awards, the first in 2000 and the second in 2003.[5]

She was named a Great Talent for the Twenty-First Century by the Orange Prize judges and is a winner of the Casa de las Américas Prize.[6]

Her third novel All Decent Animals will be published by Farrar, Straus and Giroux in 2013.


  1. ^ "Was Me Mudda". BOMB 82. 2003. Retrieved 29 May 2011. 
  2. ^ Petamber Persaud, "Peter Kempadoo - Preserving our literary heritage", Kyk-Over-Al, 18 March 2006. (Source: Interview with Peter Kempadoo on Monday 13 March 2006, Guyana Chronicle, Georgetown, Guyana.)
  3. ^ Patrick Markee (11 July 1999). "The Tree That Knew Too Much". New York Times. Retrieved 29 May 2011. 
  4. ^ Glenville Lovell (18 May 2003). "Body Heat". Washington Post. Retrieved 29 May 2011. 
  5. ^ "Tide Running". International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award. Dublin City Public Libraries. 2003. Retrieved 29 May 2011. 
  6. ^ "The Casa de Las Americas Literary Prize", Guyana Chronicle, 31 March 2012.