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Birthplace
Guyana
Residence
Guyana
Identities
Guyana
DOB
1943
Gender
Male

Rupert Roopnaraine

Rupert Roopnaraine was born in 1943 in Kitty, Georgetown, Guyana. Hi is the Guyanese Minister of Education.

He won a scholarship to Queen’s College in 1954 where he excelled in cricket, where he captained the team and represented Demerara in the Inter-county Cricket Finals. In 1962 he was awarded a Guyana scholarship to attend the University of Cambridge where he studied Modern Languages and was awarded a Cambridge ‘Blue’ for representing the University in English county cricket. In 1970 he was awarded a scholarship to Cornell University, New York, where he obtained an MA and Ph D in Comparative Literature. From 1966-1996, he has worked as a university lecturer in the UK, Canada, the USA and at the University of Guyana.

He joined the Working People’s Alliance in 1977 and quickly became one of the leaders of the party along with Walter Rodney, Clive Thomas and Eusi Kwayana. He was an activist politician and at the height of the years of PNC repression was arrested on charges of burning down the PNC headquarters. He also narrowly escaped death when he was attacked by PNC party thugs, only reaching safety with the help of sugarcane workers who led him through the cane fields to escape. After the assassination of Walter Rodney he became leader of the WPA. He has been a member of the Guyanese parliament for many years, with a virtually unique reputation for the incorruptible representation of people across all racial groups.

He is unquestionably one of the leading Caribbean intellectuals of his generation, though political activism has restricted his output. Nevertheless, he is an outstanding art critic (champion of the work of Stanley Greaves), literary critic (author of a pioneering essay on Martin Carter), film-maker (The Terror and the Time) and poet. He is the author of The Web of October: Rereading Martin Carter (1986) and a suite of love poems, Suite for Supriya (1993), and The Primacy of the Eye: The Art of Stanley Greaves.

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