Wilson Harris

(2343 words)
  • Hena Maes-Jellinek (University of Liege)

Wilson Harris was born in a middle class family in New Amsterdam, Guyana (then British Guiana) of mixed European, African and Amerindian descent. His father died when he was two years old and his stepfather disappeared into the Guyanese heartland when he was six. That same year in Georgetown, where the family was then living, he came upon a beggar whom he was later to identify with Ulysses disguised as a beggar when he returns to Ithaca at the end of The Odyssey. Harris began to read it when he was eight years old with the help of his mother, and subsequently Ulysses figures prominently in his poetry and fiction.

Though Harris denies writing autobiographical fiction, these elements occur in his early poetry and through …

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Citation:
Maes-Jellinek, Hena. "Wilson Harris". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 22 March 2004
[http://www.litencyc.com/php/speople.php?rec=true&UID=1998, accessed 18 April 2014.]

Articles on Harris' works

  1. Palace of the Peacock

Related Groups

  1. Postcolonial literature - Britain, The Caribbean, Australia, New Zealand