David Chariandy

Offering a vision at once entirely humane and immensely tender, David Chariandy lays bare the ways that gestures and details articulate the revelations of grief as well as the intimacies found within fraught and fraying social spaces.

David Chariandy is the author of two novels and the epistolary nonfiction book I’ve Been Meaning to Tell You: A Letter to My Daughter (2018). In all his work, Chariandy connects intimate relationships to complex migrant histories. His most recent novel, Brother (2017), was described by The Observer as “a breathtaking achievement . . . a compulsive, brutal, and flawless novel that is full of accomplished storytelling with not a word spare.” Winner of the Toronto Book Award (2018) and the Rogers Writers’ Trust Fiction Prize (2017), Brother tells the story of two siblings, Michael and Francis, and their early years in an impoverished district of Toronto. Narrated by the adult Michael, and alternating between the present day and the 1980s, the novel movingly examines issues of kinship, racial embodiment, and the diasporic past—themes also explored in Chariandy’s debut, Soucouyant (2007). In exquisitely precise, burningly felt prose, Chariandy illuminates persistent vulnerabilities and also memory as “the muscle sting of now.” A Professor of English at Simon Fraser University, he teaches literature and creative writing, and has published widely on Black and Caribbean texts in scholarly books and journals. His fiction is being translated into ten languages.

I was floored by the news! And for some time, I didn’t dare believe my fortune. The Windham-Campbell Prize offers a life-changing opportunity to devote time and energy to writing. I am humbled and profoundly grateful to be counted among the recipients. DAVID CHARIANDY