Get lit | Did you even know

Are you a book lover? Think you know Caribbean literature inside out? Let our trivia column put you to the test

  • Photo courtesy Ingrid Persaud

The month of April brings the start of the Caribbean’s literature festival season, with T&T’s NGC Bocas Lit Fest on the weekend of the 23rd to the 25th. Are you a book lover? Think you’re well read in Caribbean literature? Try our trivia quiz, and check your score in the answers below!

1. What was T&T author V.S. Naipaul’s first published book?

Miguel Street
The Mystic Masseur
The Suffrage of Elvira
A House for Mr Biswas

2. Which of these authors famously writes under a pen name?

Olive Senior
Jamaica Kincaid
Caryl Phillips
Dionne Brand

3. Which Jamaican author’s debut novel concerns a fateful struggle between two village preachers?

John Hearne
Patricia Powell
Marlon James
Kei Miller

4. T&T-born Ingrid Persaud (pictured above) recently won the 2020 Costa Book Award for best debut novel, with Love After Love. Her book takes its title from a poem by which Caribbean writer?

Eric Roach
Lorna Goodison
Kamau Brathwaite
Derek Walcott

5. Which of these novels was adapted into a BBC TV series directed by Horace Ové?

Wide Sargasso Sea, by Jean Rhys
The Ventriloquist’s Tale, by Pauline Melville
The Orchid House, by Phyllis Shand Allfrey
Brother Man, by Roger Mais 

6. Pitch Lake is a book by which of these T&T authors?

Alfred Mendes
Valerie Belgrave
Lawrence Scott
Andre Bagoo

7. How many Nobel Laureates in Literature has the Caribbean produced?


8. Aldrick, Sylvia, Fisheye, and Pariag are characters in a novel by which of these writers?

Austin Clarke
Ismith Khan
Earl Lovelace
David Dabydeen

9. And a question for the most faithful Caribbean Beat readers: who is the only fiction writer ever to appear on the cover of the magazine? Check our online cover gallery if you can’t figure it out!

George Lamming
Merle Hodge
Oonya Kempadoo
Elizabeth Nunez


1 The Mystic Masseur 
2 Antigua-born Jamaica Kincaid, whose real name is Elaine Potter Richardson 
3 Marlon James, John Crow’s Devil 
4 Derek Walcott 
5 The Orchid House 
6 A trick question! Alfred Mendes published his novel Pitch Lake in 1934, and Andre Bagoo published a book of poems with the same title in 2017 
7 Three: Saint-John Perse of Guadeloupe (1960), Derek Walcott of St Lucia (1992), and V.S. Naipaul of T&T (2001) 
8 They are all characters in The Dragon Can’t Dance, by Earl Lovelace 
9 Oonya Kempadoo — our March/April 2002 issue

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