Oonya Kempadoo

Oonya Kempadoo

in Guyana
January 01, 1966


Oonya Kempadoo is a writer who was born in Sussex, England in 1966 of Guyanese parents. She was brought up in Guyana and has since lived in Europe and various islands in the Caribbean.

Her first novel, Buxton Spice, was published to great acclaim in 1998, and was nominated for the 2000 International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award. Her second book, Tide Running (Picador, 2001), set in Plymouth, Tobago, is the story of young brothers Cliff and Ossie.

Oonya Kempadoo has studied art in Amsterdam and has lived in Trinidad, St. Lucia, Tobago, and now lives in Grenada.

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 Americas Prize.

Average rating: 3.45 · 399 ratings · 57 reviews · 5 distinct worksSimilar authors
Buxton Spice

3.24 avg rating — 148 ratings — published 1998 — 7 editions
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Tide Running

3.28 avg rating — 75 ratings — published 2001 — 10 editions
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All Decent Animals

3.13 avg rating — 69 ratings — published 2013 — 4 editions
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A Árvores dos Sentidos

3.33 avg rating — 3 ratings — published 1998
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Rotten English: A Literary ...

4.09 avg rating — 105 ratings — published 2007 — 2 editions
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“Just visiting from Trinidad, we could have never seen the darkness of this island. The strength of it overpowered and silenced you. Only after moving here did the calm become unsettling. Traces of resentment glowing under the skin of proud faces, in the gait of mobile bodies. The house, our holiday haven from Trinidad city life, seduced us into its womb, promising peace of mind, crime-free living, and the blue Caribbean Sea. Once Peter’s work in Trinidad had finished, we moved. And now the haven sheltered us from things unknown and deep. Always mothering, giving space for mistakes and meditation, watching over our sleep.”
Oonya Kempadoo, Tide Running

“When she can’t sleep, she writes. All she remembers is his words. It will soon be dawn, with fire-stoked horses thundering to the humming sky of crickets. I will see you run. And I will run with you. That morning, while Ata ate a dripping mango over the sink, she felt him come up behind her and touch the small of her back, light as a current of air. He kissed the side of her neck, inhaled the steam of bitter cocoa, boiling with bay leaves, cinnamon, and nutmeg, and said it reminded him of his childhood. “You are from the islands,” she said. But then he was gone.”
Oonya Kempadoo, All Decent Animals

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