Obituary Note: Wilson Harris

Guyanese novelist and essayist Wilson Harris, "who addressed themes of colonialism and cultural identity in weaving stories of history, fantasy, myth and philosophy," died March 8, the New York Times reported. He was 96. Harris, who lived in England for nearly 60 years, "had been a land surveyor for almost 15 years. But that work, which involved trips into Guyana's jungles and vast savanna and contact with its diverse populations, turned out to be excellent preparation for a literary career."

His first novel, Palace of the Peacock, was published in 1960, the year after he relocated to England, and became part of his Guyana Quartet along with The Far Journey of Oudin (1961), The Whole Armour (1962) and The Secret Ladder (1963). Harris wrote 26 novels in all, including Jonestown (1996), Resurrection at Sorrow Hill (1993), The Dark Jester (2001), and The Ghost of Memory (2006).

"One thing that set Harris apart was the breadth of his vision, the Guardian wrote. "He was interested in physics, anthropology, mythology, alchemy and the pioneers of the unconscious, particularly Carl Jung. "He also warned against the trap of victimhood in postcolonial fiction, which could lead the oppressed to become as prejudiced as their former oppressors."

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