This interview provides a rich account of Frank Birbalsingh’s experiences from his early life in colonial British Guiana in the early part of the twentieth century to his continuing work as a literary scholar and critic in diaspora. What is also revealed is a thoughtful critical reflection on the Caribbean, its multiplicity, and its course of change over a lifetime. The discussion also traces Birbalsingh’s migrations to India, Canada, New Zealand, and Nigeria and examines how these journeys have shaped his critical work within the fields of Commonwealth literature, postcolonial literature, and Caribbean studies, situating these shifts and movements within and against the backdrop of histories of decolonization. Birbalsingh’s early years in a plantation colony become prologue to his experience of education as a pathway to migration (a brain drain that still marks Guyanese and Caribbean experience to this day). The interviewers focus on the scholar’s career highlights and finally turn to the space that all wide-ranging departures and journeys beyond the nation encounter (regardless of emotional investments)—the place of exile and diaspora.

You do not currently have access to this content.