CaribWorldNews, LONDON, England, Fri. June 18, 2010: Guyanese writer Wilson Harris, known for books like `Palace of the Peacock,` and `Jonestown,` has been knighted by Queen Elizabeth, II.
The United Kingdom–based writer received the honor as the Queen celebrated her birthday this year. Harris, 89 was featured on the Queen 2010 birthday honors list for his contribution to literature.
Sir Wilson was born in New Amsterdam in British Guiana in 1921 and attended Queen`s College in Georgetown, Guyana. He later became a government surveyor, before taking up a career as lecturer and writer. His writing style often departs from accepted norms, and he is known for his broad vision and the abstract complexity of his mystical style. He first wrote poetry, but since has become a well-known novelist and essayist.
He migrated to England in 1959 and his first novel, Palace of the Peacock (1960) was published soon after his arrival. It became the first of a quartet of novels, The Guyana Quartet, which incorporates The Far Journey of Oudin (1961); The Whole Armour (1962); and The Secret Ladder (1963). He later wrote a trilogy: Carnival (1985); The Infinite Rehearsal (1987); and The Four Banks of the River of Space (1990).
Jonestown came in 1996, which tells of the massacre of one thousand followers ordered by cult leader Jim Jones; The Dark Jester (2001) and The Mask of the Beggar (2003), which has autobiographical elements. His most recent book is The Ghost of Memory (2006).
Harris also writes non-fiction and critical essays and has been awarded honorary doctorates by several universities, including the University of the West Indies (1984) and the University of Liège (2001). He has twice been winner of the Guyana Prize for Literature.