Famous Authors from Jamaica

List of the most popular authors from Jamaica, listed alphabetically with photos when available. For centuries authors have been among the world's most important people, helping chronicle history and keep us entertained with one of the earliest forms of storytelling. Whether they're known for fiction, non-fiction, poetry or even technical writing, the famous Jamaican authors on this list have kept that tradition alive by writing renowned works that have been praised around the world. You can find useful information below about these notable Jamaican writers, such as when they were born and where their place of birth was.

List is made up of many different authors, including Claude McKay and Marcus Garvey.

This list answers the questions, "Which famous authors are from Jamaica?" and "Who are the best Jamaican authors?"

For further information on these historic Jamaican authors, click on their names. If you're a bookworm then use this list of celebrated Jamaican authors to discover some new books that you will enjoy reading.
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  • Mary Anne Barker

    Mary Anne Barker

    Remembered with affection, This troublesome world or 'Bet of Stow.', Spring comedies
    • Birthplace: Spanish Town, Jamaica
    • Birthdate: 01-01-1831
    • Nationality: Jamaica, New Zealand
    Mary Anne Barker, Lady Barker, later Mary Anne Broome, Lady Broome, was an author.
  • Hugh B. Cave
    Bottled in Blonde, Long Were The Nights, Death Stalks the Night
    • Birthplace: Chester, England
    • Birthdate: 07-11-1910
    • Nationality: United Kingdom, Jamaica
    Hugh Barnett Cave (11 July 1910 – 27 June 2004) was an American writer of various genres, perhaps best remembered for his works of horror, weird menace and science fiction. Cave was one of the most prolific contributors to pulp magazines of the 1920s and '30s, selling an estimated 800 stories not only in the aforementioned genres but also in western, fantasy, adventure, crime, romance and non-fiction. He used a variety of pen names, notably Justin Case under which name he created the antihero The Eel. A war correspondent during World War II, Cave afterwards settled in Jamaica where he owned and managed a coffee plantation and continued his writing career, now specializing in novels as well as fiction and non-fiction sales to mainstream magazines. Starting in the 1970s Cave enjoyed a resurgence in popularity when Karl Edward Wagner's Carcosa Press published Murgunstrumm and Others, the first hardcover collection of Cave's pulp stories. Cave relocated to Florida and regularly published original material until about the year 2000, and won a World Fantasy Award for lifetime achievement in 1999.
  • Claude McKay
    Banjo, a story without a plot, Banana Bottom
    • Birthplace: Clarendon Parish, Jamaica
    • Birthdate: 09-15-1889
    • Nationality: United States of America, Jamaica
    Festus Claudius "Claude" McKay (September 15, 1889 – May 22, 1948) was a Jamaican writer and poet, who was a seminal figure in the Harlem Renaissance. He wrote four novels: Home to Harlem (1928), a best-seller that won the Harmon Gold Award for Literature, Banjo (1929), Banana Bottom (1933), and in 1941 a manuscript called Amiable With Big Teeth: A Novel of the Love Affair Between the Communists and the Poor Black Sheep of Harlem which remained unpublished until 2017. McKay also authored collections of poetry, a collection of short stories, Gingertown (1932), two autobiographical books, A Long Way from Home (1937) and My Green Hills of Jamaica (published posthumously in 1979), and a non-fiction, socio-historical treatise entitled Harlem: Negro Metropolis (1940). His 1922 poetry collection, Harlem Shadows, was among the first books published during the Harlem Renaissance. His Selected Poems was published posthumously, in 1953. McKay was attracted to communism in his early life, but he always asserted that he never became an official member of the Communist Party USA. However, some scholars dispute that claim, noting his close ties to active members, his attendance at communist-led events, and his months-long stay in the Soviet Union in 1922–23, which he wrote about very favorably. He gradually became disillusioned with communism, however, and by the mid-1930s had begun to write negatively about it. By the late 1930s his anti-Stalinism isolated him from other Harlem intellectuals, and by 1942 he converted to Catholicism and left Harlem, and he worked for a Catholic organization until his death.
  • Nalo Hopkinson
    The Salt Roads, Whispers from the Cotton Tree Root, Brown Girl in the Ring
    • Birthplace: Kingston, Jamaica
    • Birthdate: 12-20-1960
    • Nationality: Jamaica
    Nalo Hopkinson (born 20 December 1960) is a Jamaican-born Canadian speculative fiction writer and editor. She currently lives and teaches in Riverside, California. Her novels (Brown Girl in the Ring, Midnight Robber, The Salt Roads, The New Moon's Arms) and short stories such as those in her collection Skin Folk often draw on Caribbean history and language, and its traditions of oral and written storytelling. Hopkinson has edited two fiction anthologies (Whispers From the Cotton Tree Root: Caribbean Fabulist Fiction and Mojo: Conjure Stories). She was the co-editor with Uppinder Mehan for the anthology So Long Been Dreaming: Postcolonial Visions of the Future, and with Geoff Ryman for Tesseracts 9. Hopkinson defended George Elliott Clarke's novel Whylah Falls on the CBC's Canada Reads 2002. She was the curator of Six Impossible Things, an audio series of Canadian fantastical fiction on CBC Radio One.
  • Trevor D. Rhone
    Old story time ; and, Smile orange, Old story time and other plays
    • Birthplace: Kingston, Jamaica
    • Birthdate: 03-24-1940
    • Nationality: Jamaica
    Trevor Dave Rhone (24 March 1940 – 15 September 2009) was a Jamaican writer, playwright and film maker. He co-wrote, with director Perry Henzell, the internationally successful film The Harder They Come (1972).
  • Evan Jones
    Protector of the Indians, Stone haven, Balchder crefft
    • Birthplace: Portland Parish, Jamaica
    • Birthdate: 01-01-1927
    • Nationality: Jamaica
    Evan Jones (29 December 1927–21 July 2012) was a poet, playwright and screenwriter based in Britain. He was educated in Jamaica, the United States and England. Jones taught at schools in the United States before moving to England in 1956 and beginning a career as a writer. He wrote the scripts for the feature films King & Country, Modesty Blaise, Funeral in Berlin, Wake in Fright and several television plays.