The Windham-Campbell Prize is clearly a literary prize to watch, as both one of the largest in the world ($165,000!), and one that is honouring Canadian writers on a regular basis. Chariandy is the 5th from our country, and it is a wonderful gift of freedom to help him complete his next work of fiction that is based on the story of his Trinidadian parents. Chariandy says: "My imagination is filled by this next novel and I would love more than anything else in the world to get to it in a really concentrated and sustained way." His body of work has received acclaim from readers and critics: Brother is one of the 2019 Canada Read's finalists, and Soucouyant (2007) was nominated for several awards. I've Been Meaning to Tell You: A Letter to my Daughter is a personal essay that deals with race and family history.
Donald Windham, a writer himself, established this prize in memory of his partner Sandy Campbell. It is administered by Yale University, with the help of anonymous nominators from the literary world. No one knows they are under consideration, so just as in Chariandy's case, it can be a wonderful surprise wrapped in a big figure: "to someone who is wholly dedicated to writing, that's a gift of unspeakable importance".
To read David Chariandy's work, or the work of other Windham-Campbell recipients, see our list attached.