Trinidadian author Michael Anthony passes on

PORT OF SPAIN – Michael Anthony, a prolific author of both fiction and nonfiction as well as a historian, has died. He was 93 years old.

“It is with profound sadness that we announce the death of our beloved father, who passed away peacefully last night at home surrounded by his family.

“Michael was an icon and a giant in the literary world and his legacy is deeply woven into the tapestry of our nation, which he loved so dearly,” the family said in a statement.

“Above all, Michael was an adoring husband, father and grandfather and we will miss him deeply. We thank you for your well wishes, and we kindly ask for privacy during this difficult time,” the statement added.

Anthony was born in Mayaro, a town southeast of here on February 10, 1930. His first book of poems were published by the Trinidad Guardian in 1954, the same year he travelled to the United Kingdom on board the Hildebrandt.

While in England he held several jobs, including as a sub-editor at Reuters News Agency (1964–1968) and developing his career as a writer, writing short stories for the British Broadcasting Corporation radio programme, Caribbean Voices.

Four years later, Anthony published his first book, The Games Were Coming, a cycling story inspired by real events. He followed up its success with The Year In San Fernando and Green Days By The River. He eventually returned to Trinidad in 1970, after spending two years as part of the Trinidadian diplomatic corps in Brazil, where his novel King of the Masquerade is set, and he worked variously as an editor, a researcher for the Ministry of Culture, and as a radio broadcaster of historical programmes.

In 1992, he spent time at the University of Richmond  in the US state of Virginia, teaching creative writing.

In his five-decade career, Anthony had over 30 titles published, including novels, collections of short fiction, books for younger readers, travelogues and histories. He has also been a contributor to many anthologies and journals, including Caribbean ProseIsland VoicesStories From The CaribbeanResponseThe Sun’s EyesWest Indian NarrativeThe Bajan, and BIM magazine.

In 1979, Anthony was awarded the Hummingbird Medal (Gold) for his contributions to literature, and he received an honorary doctorate from The University of the West Indies in 2003.

He was married to Yvette Phillips and they had four children — Jennifer, Keith, Carlos and Sandra. (CMC)