Rupert Roopnaraine

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Rupert Roopnaraine
Personal information
Full name Rupert Roopnaraine
Born (1943-01-31) 31 January 1943 (age 74)
Georgetown, Guyana
Batting style Right-handed
Bowling style Right-arm off-break
Domestic team information
Years Team
1964–66 Cambridge University
Career statistics
Competition First-class
Matches 29
Runs scored 302
Batting average 7.94
100s/50s 0/1
Top score 50*
Balls bowled 5,974
Wickets 58
Bowling average 36.53
5 wickets in innings 2
10 wickets in match 0
Best bowling 8/88
Catches/stumpings 7/–

Rupert Roopnaraine (born 31 January 1943) is a Guyanese cricketer, writer, and politician.


Roopnaraine was born in Kitty, Georgetown, Guyana. In 1954, he won a scholarship to Queen's College, where he excelled in cricket; he captained the team and represented Demerara in the Inter-county Cricket Finals. In 1962 he was awarded a Guyana scholarship to attend the University of Cambridge, where he studied Modern Languages. He played first-class cricket for the Cambridge University team from 1964 to 1966 and was awarded a Blue for representing the university in the annual University Match against Oxford in 1965 and 1966.[1] As a cricketer, he was a lower order right-handed batsman and a right-arm off-break bowler.

In 1970 he was awarded a scholarship to Cornell University, New York, where he obtained an MA and PhD in Comparative Literature. From 1976 to 1996, he has worked as a university lecturer in the UK, Canada, the US and at the University of Guyana.

He joined the Working People's Alliance (WPA) in 1977 and quickly became one of the leaders of the party, along with Walter Rodney, Clive Thomas and Eusi Kwayana. He was an activist politician and at the height of the years of People's National Congress (PNC) repression was arrested on charges of burning down the PNC headquarters. He also narrowly escaped death when he was attacked by PNC party thugs, only reaching safety with the help of sugarcane workers who led him through the cane fields to escape. After the assassination of Walter Rodney, Roopnaraine became leader of the WPA. He has been a member of the Guyanese parliament for many years, with a virtually unique reputation for the incorruptible representation of people across all racial groups.

He is unquestionably one of the leading Caribbean intellectuals of his generation, though political activism has restricted his output. Nevertheless, he is an outstanding art critic (champion of the work of Stanley Greaves), literary critic (author of a pioneering essay on Martin Carter), film-maker (The Terror and the Time) and poet. He is the author of The Web of October: Rereading Martin Carter (1986), a suite of love poems entitled Suite for Supriya (1993), and Primacy of the Eye: The Art of Stanley Greaves was published in 2003. Roopnaraine also contributed a substantial "Introduction" to the Peepal Tree Press 2010 edition of Edgar Mittelholzer's Shadows Move Among Them.

Roopnaraine's collection of essays, The Sky’s Wild Noise, won the non-fiction category of the 2013 OCM Bocas Prize for Caribbean Literature.[2] The judges commentated that "in the corpus of non-fiction prose in the Caribbean intellectual tradition, only José Martí and George Lamming rival the range of Roopnaraine’s capacities of response, depth of analysis and subtle and mordant style."[3]

Selected works[edit]

  • The Web of October: Rereading Martin Carter (Peepal Tree Press, 1986)
  • Suite for Supriya (love poems; Peepal Tree Press, 1993)
  • Primacy of the Eye: The Art of Stanley Greaves (Peepal Tree Press, 2003)
  • The Sky’s Wild Noise: Selected Essays (Peepal Tree Press, 2012)


  1. ^ "Rupert Roopnaraine". Retrieved 2010-05-20. 
  2. ^ "Roopnaraine wins Bocas non-fiction literary prize", Guyana Times, 30 April 2013.
  3. ^ "Rupert Roopnaraine wins major literary award", Kaieteur News, 30 April 2013.