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Trinidad and Tobago
Trinidad and Tobago, Canada
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Rabindranath Maharaj

Rabindranath Maharaj was born in George Village in the rural district of Tableland in South Trinidad in 1955. He attended the local Hindu school where his father was principal. At the age of ten he left Tableland to attend Naparima College in San Fernando about twenty miles away. He lived for a time in San Fernando before studying for a BA, MA and Diploma in Education at the University of the West Indies, St. Augustine. He worked thereafter as a secondary school teacher and a columnist for the Trinidad Sunday Guardian.

"He began writing as a primary school child, but, he writes, 'writing, whenever it occurred, was mainly a personal thing and there was very little thought of publication. However, while at U.W.I. I wrote some stories which were received in such a way as I was encouraged to think of publication and persuaded of the futility of thinking only in terms of a private audience. Many of the characters I have presented in my stories have been woven out of actual persons. My hometown, Tableland, like many small villages, possesses a wealth of characters, situations and incidents. But Trinidad itself is a good place for writers; everything here is mixed together - humour, racial tensions, oral traditions, political intrigues and even coups'.

His stories were first published in The Trinidad and Tobago Review and The Caribbean Writer. In the early 1990s he moved to New Brunswick in Canada where he has continued to work as a teacher. His first collection of stories, which deal mainly, but not wholly, with the immigrant experience in Canada, The Interloper (Goose Lane, 1995) was published to considerable acclaim, including from Olive Senior, who wrote of the enlivening 'wit and humour and layered expressive language'. The stories in The Writer and His Wife, Peepal Tree, 1996, deal mainly with Tableland.

Since then, Rabindranath Maharaj has been establishing a considerable reputation in Canada with Homer in Flight, The Lagahoo's Apprentice and The Book of Ifs and Buts."

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