Wilson Harris

Wilson Harris was a Guyanese writer known for his complex novels that explore themes of history, identity, and mythology. Born on March 24, 1921, in New Amsterdam, British Guiana (now Guyana), he initially worked as a land surveyor before turning to writing. His work is often associated with postcolonial literature and is celebrated for its innovative narrative techniques and philosophical depth. Harris's notable works include the Guyana Quartet and the novel 'Palace of the Peacock'. He passed away on March 8, 2018.


This list of books are ONLY the books that have been ranked on the lists that are aggregated on this site. This is not a comprehensive list of all books by this author.

  1. 1. Palace of the Peacock

    The novel follows a crew of men on a dangerous journey up the Amazon River to find a lost tribe. Led by a domineering, half-indigenous foreman, the crew grapples with the harsh realities of the jungle, their own pasts, and the blurred lines between dreams and reality. As they venture deeper into the wilderness, they are forced to confront their own mortality, the violent legacy of colonialism, and the spectral presence of a beautiful, mysterious woman who seems to embody the spirit of the Amazon itself.

  2. 2. The Guyana Quartet

    "The Guyana Quartet" is a collection of four novels that delve into the complex tapestry of Guyanese history and culture, blending myth, dream, and reality to explore themes of colonialism, identity, and the interconnection of human experiences. Through lyrical prose and a non-linear narrative structure, the quartet presents a richly layered vision of a land marked by the convergence of diverse ethnic groups, the scars of oppression, and the struggle for self-definition. The novels interweave the lives of a wide array of characters, from indigenous peoples to European colonizers, as they navigate the challenging landscape of a country in the throes of transformation.

  3. 3. Heartland

    "Heartland" is a novel that delves into the complexities of human consciousness and the interplay between reality and imagination. Set against a backdrop that blends elements of South American landscapes with mythological dimensions, the narrative follows a protagonist who embarks on a transformative journey. Throughout this journey, the character encounters various figures and experiences that challenge his perceptions of identity, time, and existence. The book is known for its dense, poetic prose and its exploration of themes such as colonialism, cultural heritage, and the nature of artistic creation, all of which contribute to its reputation as a challenging but rewarding read.