Christine Craig

 

Christine Craig, was born in Kingston, Jamaica and spent much of her early years in rural St. Elizabeth, Jamaica, at the home of her grandparents, both of whom were teachers. She obtained a B.A. Honours in English and Mass Communications from the University of the West Indies, Mona, in 1980.

She is a well known Jamaican short story writer and poet who also writes children’s fiction. She has written several non fiction publications and training manuals on feminist and health issues. Her short stories and poems have been published in Caribbean, British and American anthologies and journals. In 1989 she was awarded a Fellowship to the International Writer’s Program at the University of Iowa in Iowa City, Iowa.

Her first publications, Emanuel and His Parrot, Oxford University Press, 1970 and Emanuel Goes to Market, Oxford University Press, 1971, written for children, were a collaboration with her then husband, Jamaican artist Karl ‘Jerry’ Craig. These were the first full colour
children’s books to feature a Jamaican child. She has written and directed a series of Jamaican history vignettes for children’s television, and in 1990, Heinemann Caribbean published Bird Gang, a novella for children.

Her poetry, collected in the anthology, Quadrille for Tigers, Mina Press, Berkeley CA, dazzled readers with her flair for language, evocative descriptions of the Jamaican landscape, and dramatic imagery of the poignancy and pain of life for many Jamaican women.

She is best known for her short stories in which she portrays contemporary life, social mores and sexual politics in the Caribbean, set against a backdrop of beautifully lush, sometimes overpowering tropical settings. Mint Tea and Other Stories, published by Heinemann U.K. in 1993 resonates with the recurring themes of social injustice, unconventional love and the painful innermost feelings of women. The reader is often left with an unsettling sense of doom in the eeriness of parallel realities, as in the tale of Marthy’s lecherous neighbour whose head grows roots into the ground and becomes affixed. The stratified and hierarchical construct of Caribbean society and the nightmarish quality of life for the poor in Jamaica pervades her work.

Craig was instrumental in setting up the Women’s Bureau in the 1980's, for governmental and non-governmental protection of women’s rights in Jamaica. Along with Denis Watson, she co-authored Guyana at the Crossroads, University of Miami,1992 . Also in 1992, she co-edited Jamaica’s National Report to the Word Conference on the Environment, Rio de Janeiro.

She tutored English Literature at the University of the West Indies in the 1990's and was Adjunct Professor of Fiction and Commercial Writing at Barry University, Miami, Florida. From 1990 to 1998, she was Miami Editor of The Jamaica Gleaner in Miami, Florida, responsible for news and features.

She lives in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.


GENRES: Children, Fiction, Non-Fiction, Poetry, Short Stories.



BIBLIOGRAPHY

Emanuel and His Parrot, Oxford University Press, Oxford, 1970

Emanuel Goes to Market, Oxford University Press, Oxford, 1971

Quadrille for Tigers, Mina Press, Berkeley, CA, 1984

Bird Gang, Heinemann Caribbean, 1990

Jamaica’s National Report to the World Conference on the Environment, Co-editor, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, 1992

Guyana at the Crossroads, Co-author, University of Miami, Miami, FL, 1992

Mint Tea and Other Stories, Heinemann, UK, 1993

 

Christine Craig

 

 

Peepal Tree titles

Christine Craig: Poems
All Things Bright & Quadrille for Tigers