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Cassandra Adjei

Novelist, travel writer, and poet. Born in Panama, at the age of 2 Salkey left for Jamaica, the focus of much of his literary work. There, cared for by his grandmother until the arrival of his mother (his father stayed in Panama), he attended St George's College and Munro College. It was at this point that Salkey made his first connections with the London literary scene through the submission of his writing to the BBC's Caribbean Voices. When he migrated in 1952 to study English Literature at the University of London, he continued his artistic pursuits, and through further involvement in Caribbean Voices, began to build up many contacts within the arts industry.

These proved useful when, in 1966, Salkey joined forces with Edward Kamau Brathwaite and John La Rose to create the Caribbean Artists' Movement CAM However such contacts were also invaluable ...


Janet M. Roberts

Born 10 August 1906 in Des Moines, Iowa, Era Bell Thompson grew up in Driscoll, North Dakota, on her family's farm. Her contact with African Americans limited by regional population composition, she became fully aware of African American life, culture, and problems only after reaching adulthood.

Thompson attended North Dakota State University in Grand Forks, where she wrote for the university paper. Ill, Thompson left the university, and after recovering went to Chicago, working at a magazine, proofreading, writing advertising copy, and reviewing African Americans' books-exposing herself to the artistic outpourings of African Americans for the first time. She was particularly moved by W. E. B. Du Bois's The Dark Princess (1928), which exalted “Negroes” and “blackness.” Thompson later moved to Minneapolis, where she wrote features, advertising copy, and straight news for the Bugle, a weekly.

Encouraged and subsidized by Dr. Riley a white minister ...


Gerald G. Newborg

author and editor, was born in Des Moines, Iowa, the daughter of Stewart C. Thompson and Mary Logan. In 1914 she moved with her family to Driscoll, North Dakota, where her father was a farmer and, from 1917 to 1921, a private messenger for Governor Lynn Frazier during legislative sessions. After moving to Bismarck in 1920, her father operated a secondhand store, and when he died in 1928, Era Thompson briefly operated the store to pay off his debts.

Thompson attended the University of North Dakota from 1925 until she was forced to drop out of college in 1927, owing to illness. She wrote for the campus newspaper and excelled in athletics, establishing five state and tying two national intercollegiate women's track records. In 1930 having won twenty five dollars in a contest to name a bedspring King Koil she used the money ...


Born in Philippolis, Jan van der Post was raised on a working ranch and educated at Grey College in Bloemfontein, South Africa. In 1925, with two other South African writers, Roy Campbell and William Plomer, he helped start the magazine Voorslag, which was strongly opposed to the South African Apartheid government. Due to his involvement with the periodical, van der Post was forced to leave South Africa and so traveled to Japan, where he wrote his first novel, In a Province (1934), an early indictment of South African racism. Van der Post served with the British Army during World War II and spent three years (1943–1946) in a Japanese prisoner-of-war camp. He based his books The Seed and the Sower (1963; filmed as Merry Christmas Mr. Lawrence in 1983), The Night of the New Moon (1970), and Portrait of ...