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Critical Perspectives on Derek Walcott

Robert D. Hamner, editor
ISBN: 978-0-89410-142-7
1993/482 pages

"This is the most comprehensive introduction to the poet-dramatist ... the result, clearly, of the editor’s acknowledged authority as a Walcott scholar.... A treasure house of criticism."—Choice

"The book has a satisfying fullness, and is necessary reading for anyone seriously interested in Walcott’s work. The bibliography itself is a contribution to scholarship."—Research in African Literature


Derek Walcott, winner of the 1992 Nobel Prize for literature, has risen from obscure colonial origins to lay claim to a rich cultural heritage. The progeny of Asia, Africa, Europe, and the Americas come together in his work as they populate his native Caribbean islands; his poetry and plays record their struggles to overcome the ironies of their lives, to establish their authentic "new world" identity.

The articles in this collection are representative of the criticism that has followed Walcott’s career from the 1940s into the 1990s. Ten entries by Walcott himself (including one not previously published and two vital interviews) are complemented by some 40 incisive essays and reviews, ranging from professional assessments to the rare, personal observations of Walcott’s earliest mentors. The 70-page annotated bibliography testifies to the wealth of material awaiting the student/scholar interested in further study.


Robert D. Hamner is professor emeritus of English and humanities at Hardin-Simmons University.