Wilson Harris

Hena Maes-Jelinek (Université de Liège); Revised By: Melanie Otto (Trinity College Dublin)
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Life and Work

Wilson Harris was born into a middle-class family in New Amsterdam, Guyana (then British Guiana) of mixed European, African and Amerindian descent. In “An Autobiographical Essay” Harris narrates how his father died when he was two years old and his stepfather disappeared into the Guyanese heartland when Harris 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 The Odyssey when he was eight years old with the help of his mother, and subsequently Ulysses figures prominently in his poetry and fiction.

Wilson Harris was born into a middle-class family in New Amsterdam, Guyana (then British Guiana)…

4737 words

Citation: Maes-Jelinek, Hena, Melanie Otto. "Wilson Harris". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 22 March 2004; last revised 09 October 2018. [https://www.litencyc.com/php/speople.php?rec=true&UID=1998, accessed 15 April 2024.]

1998 Wilson Harris 1 Historical context notes are intended to give basic and preliminary information on a topic. In some cases they will be expanded into longer entries as the Literary Encyclopedia evolves.

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