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Beryl Gilroy

Novelist Beryl Gilroy was born in British Guyana in 1924 and died in 2001 in the UK.  She attended teacher’s training college in Georgetown, Guyana, read for a Diploma in Child Development at the University of London (1951-1953) and went on to obtain a PhD in Counselling Psychology in 1987. Not without difficulties and while rasing a young family (including Paul who established a notable career in Black Studies), she embarked on a teaching career in the 1960s and eventually became the first black headteacher of London. She addressed her own experiences and racial discrimination in primary education in her autobiographical work Black Teacher (1976), before turning to fiction writing in the 1980s.

Her debut novel Frangipani House (1986), for which Gilroy received the GLC Creative Writing Prize, examines the plight of the residents of an elderly home in the Caribbean. Her second novel Boy Sandwich (1989) explores how elders are treated in London. Other novels include Steadman and Joanna: Love in Bondage (1991), Sunlight and Sweet Water (1994), Gather the Faces, In Praise of Love and Children (1994) and Inkle and Yarico (1994). She has also published a collection of poems Echoes and Voices (1991) and a collection of her non-fiction writing Leaves in the Wind was published in 1998. Her last novel The Green Grass Tango was published posthumously in 2001.

She co-founded the Camden Black Sisters in the early 1980s.


Bhattacharya, Nandini. “Beryl Gilroy’s Inkle and Yarico.” Repeating Islands, 3 Nov. 2014.

Bradshaw, Roxann. "Beryl Gilroy's "Fact-Fiction": Through the Lens of the "Quiet Old Lady"" Callaloo, 2002, vol. 25 no. 2, pp. 381-400.

Chahal, Taina. “(Re)i-magining Identity: Plural Subjectivities in Beryl Gilroy’s Frangipani House and Michelle Cliff’s No Telephone To Heaven.” National Library of Canada, May 2001.

Chancy, Myriam J. A. “Exiled in ‘Fatherland’: Joan Riley and Beryl Gilroy Voice Afro-Caribbean Women in Britain” Searching for Safe Spaces: Afro-Caribbean Women Writers in Exile. Temple University Press, 1997, pp. 31-77.

Courtman, Sandra. “Women Writers and the Windrush Generation: A Contextual Reading of Beryl Gilroy’s In Praise of Love and Children and Andrea Levy’s Small Island.” EnterText, 2012, vol. 9, pp. 84-104.

---. "A Black British Canon? The Uses of Beryl Gilroy's Black Teacher and Its Recovery as Literature." ​Wasafiri​, vol. 17, no. 36, 2002, pp. 51-55.

Dance, Daryl Cumber. “Beryl Gilroy: A Bio-Literary Overview.” MaComére vol. 1, no.1, 1998, pp. 1-3.

Davis, Andrea. "Unbelonging in Diasporic Cities: a Literary History of Caribbean Women in London and Toronto." Caribbean Review of Gender Studies, no. 13, 2019, pp.17-50.

Fraser, Peter D. “Beryl Gilroy” The Guardian, 18 April 2001.

Gilroy, Beryl. Frangipani House. Pearson, [2011] 2013.

Hoving, Isabel. “Homemaking, Woman-Talk, Time-Waste: Beryl Gilroy’s Frangipani HouseIn Praise of New Travelers: Reading Caribbean Migrant Women Writers. Stanford University Press, 2001, 77-121.

Page, Keiza. “Rethinking a Caribbean Literary Economy: Jamaica Kincaid’s My Brother and Beryl Gilroy’s Frangipani House as Remittance Texts” Transnational Negotiations in Caribbean Diasporic Literature: Remitting the Text. New York, 2011, pp. 82-102.

Poynting, Jeremy. "A Writer at the Height of her Powers."
MaComére vol. 1, no.1, 1998, pp. 4-7.

Tulloch, Carol. The Birth of Cool: Style Narratives of the African Diaspora. Bloomsbury Publishing, 28 Jan. 2016.