Jan Carew passes – novelist, playwright, poet, educator 1920-2012

Jan Carew passes – novelist, playwright, poet, educator 1920-2012

Jan Carew

Jan Carew

Jan Carew – From Wikipedia, 

Jan Rynveld Carew (born 24 September 1920 in AgricolaGuyana) is a novelist, playwright, poet and educator. His works, diverse in form and multifaceted, make Jan Carew an important intellectual of the Caribbean world. His poetry and his first two novels, Black Midas and The Wild Coast, were significant landmarks of the West Indian literature then attempting to cope with its colonial past and assert its wish for autonomy.
Carew also played an important part in the Black movement gaining strength in England and North America, publishing reviews and newspapers, producing programs and plays for the radio and the television. His scholarly research drove him to question traditional historiographies and the prevailing historical models of the conquest of America. The way he reframed Christopher Columbus as an historical character outside his mythical hagiography became a necessary path in his mind to build anew the Caribbean world on sounder foundations.
Here are some entries on Jan Carew that have appeared in Guyanese Online:

“Guyanese Wanderer” by Jan Carew

…….  Short Stories by Jan Carew      Reviewed by Eusi Kwayana  –  Posted on July 3, 2010 – 4:09 am                     

Of the ten tales eight are set in Guyana; two in Europe. But they are all haunted by the rhythm of the birth place, reminding those who remember of his early demands for “a poetry that smells of our earth and represents more clearly the dreams of our people.”

The author tells the tales with a tender and brutal realism, chipping away at all the veils that people wear with or without religious requirement. Where he is planning to unveil the inner compulsions of desire or greed or flirtation, he carefully arranges the scene to remove chance of instant discovery and then lets the human animal free, in strict privacy, only subject to these dramatic revelations from a distance of time and place that conceals the original actors and grants them back their privacy. There are two such tales in the book, involving the same male with one or two women one at each pole of the social ladder..

Read the full review by Eusi Kwayana here>  “Guyanese Wanderer”

Note:  This book is available from many sources.  The least expensive seems to be from Amazon.com


The gentle revolutionary: Jan Carew at 90

By David Austin  – Posted on September 28, 201o:

David Austin lives in Montreal and is the editor of the recently published book: ‘You Don’t Play with Revolution: The Montreal Lectures of CLR James.’ He recently spoke at an event celebrating Jan Carew’s 90th birthday sponsored by the Department of Pan-African Studies at the University of Louisville in Kentucky. He shared the platform with Eusi Kwayana.

Jan Carew, who celebrated his 90th birthday on September 24,  has lived an extraordinary and itinerant life, or many overlapping lives, and seemingly many lifetimes. He begins in Guyana, but in many ways his life defies space and time. He is the quintessential diasporic persona, a happy wanderer whose presence helped to shape seminal moments in the lives of people of African and Caribbean descent.   [Read more:  The gentle revolutionary: Jan Carew at 90 ]

Also read this Demerara Waves Report:

 Guyanese literary icon Jan Carew dies

Post a comment or leave a trackback: Trackback URL.


  • guyaneseonline  On 12/07/2012 at 6:37 am

    E-mail from: marc.matthews
    For jan carew

    An Elder

    An is clim’ he clim
    Nameless mountain
    So clim he clim

    An is bring he bring
    The gift he fin’ to
    In he han’ of he min’

    Fuh gift he mattie dem
    Dat did stan’ b’hine
    Mek dem fi know
    Dat dem imagination
    Um Sublime.

    Is a long an lastin’
    Love from a long
    Time mystic man.

  • ndtewarie  On 12/07/2012 at 6:23 pm

    How many times we see on TV the other side One from a family who just committed suicide ‘cause he’d been bullied not as a suicide bomber As we close the coffin and return to our computer

    We question and lay blame on the government We are too scared helpless and cannot be blunt Then we try to enforce new laws by ourselves Hoping the answer is found from the shelves

    They had good intentions who begat this social network If and when it is used ethically even just for schoolwork But teenage girls behaving like crows with a carcass By bullying the weak and the least educated in class

    Not to be outdone boys on busses act so macho It’s as if self respecting teenage lads gone loco Stand-bys are just as guilty as these brainless culprits One wonders were they picked up these heinous habits

    They’re afraid to talk to parents who’d just brush them off Stuck in cocoons with cell phones as if they have a cough But they have no good friends for they never made any Their efforts maybe thwarted by some batty creepy bully

    Parental guidance is severed as with a knife To stay the mortgage or other expenses of life Kids left alone feel lonely and locked in a vise The effect is the loved ones pay a bitter price

    Withdrawn daily staying indoors playing games On line every darn minute chatting without aims Getting fat on just pure unadulterated trash When caught they changed tunes in a flash

    It all boils down to the family who eats together They’re more caring for kids are a real treasure When they can talk openly about life and school Work, stop the bullying not becoming a footstool

    And they will stand fast by you to the end They won’t offend or pretend but defend And you all would look out for one another For keeping close good friends are forever


  • Rosaliene Bacchus  On 12/08/2012 at 1:41 am

    Another great son of Guyana has departed. His legacy will live on.

  • francis Jackson  On 12/08/2012 at 9:49 am

    Professor Jan Carew was a giant of a man.

    I am so glad I had the opportunity to visit with him and his family during their time spent in Chicago before they relocated to Kentucky. Both of them were faculty members at Northwestern University. His wife (joy) who is from Chicago, was a joy to meet as well as their daughter.

    As I can remember, Jan Carew attended one of our political meetings which I organized. The late Dr. ELC Broomes, our consul general for the midwestern states, Peter Palackdhary, Kadar Rampersaud, were in attendance. It was a well attended meeting of Guyanese across political lines – WPA, PNC, PPP, all in one room at Trinity Episcopal Church. A time in space to remember. Those were the good old days when we spoke to each other, and not turn on each other because of our political differences; back then, there was sanity in the political divide.

    Also, I came to know a few people in high places as a result of Professor Carew’s introduction of me to them; for this I would be forever grateful to him. Ironically, they too have passed on.

    His writings are etched in stone for his generation, the now and beyond. I will miss him. His work is done on earth.

    May the omnipotent grant to him eternal rest!

    My condolence to the family.

  • needybad4u  On 12/08/2012 at 11:45 am

    The passing of Jan Carew will forever live on in the annals of West Indian/Caribbean literature. Great son of Guyana. Condolences to his family and friends.

  • Jessica and Eric. Huntley  On 12/09/2012 at 3:26 pm


  • needybad4u- Leonard Dabydeen  On 12/09/2012 at 10:53 pm

    Requiem For Jan Carew (1920-2012)
    From the mud-banks
    of our coastal belt
    through washing waves
    of our sea shores
    his voice echoed
    with the wind
    earthy and musical
    resonant and breath-taking
    we listen
    we share
    we sit under coconut tree
    reading page after page
    and now we take
    one last look
    at his name
    to bow farewell
    but never to leave
    his work alone.

  • Veda Nath Mohabir  On 12/11/2012 at 3:28 am

    I had the privileged opportunity to work with Ian Carew at the Theatre Guild, G/town, in University of Hunger – a play he wrote and directed. He chose me for the role of Pancho. I still have a copy of the page from the arts review, Guyana Christmas Annual, featuring a photo of Clairmonte Taitt and myself (in prison) from the play. It brings back lot of memories of Ian, professional, cool and consummate, as he drew us out to deliver a highly charged political drama.
    His passing is a great loss to Guyana, and of course, to his family. My condolences to all.
    Veda Nath Mohabir

  • Cyril Balkaran  On 12/11/2012 at 9:06 am

    The world is but a stage and we are all players,come in time to realise our roles and responsibilities. Jan Carew too was one such player who discovered and played his role well on the world stage of Humanity. May His Soul Rest IN Peace.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s