The Greatest Trinidadian Books of All Time

Click to learn how this list is calculated.

This list represents a comprehensive and trusted collection of the greatest books. Developed through a specialized algorithm, it brings together 268 'best of' book lists to form a definitive guide to the world's most acclaimed books. For those interested in how these books are chosen, additional details can be found on the rankings page.

Filter by: Genres Dates Countries

Genres

Countries

Trinidadian

Add additional country filters

Date Range

Filter

Reading Statistics

Click the button below to see how many of these books you've read!

Download

If you're interested in downloading this list as a CSV file for use in a spreadsheet application, you can easily do so by clicking the button below. Please note that to ensure a manageable file size and faster download, the CSV will include details for only the first 500 books.

Download
  1. 1. A House for Mr. Biswas by V. S. Naipaul

    The novel narrates the life of Mr. Biswas, a man of Indian descent living in Trinidad, who struggles against poverty and adversity to achieve personal independence and to build a home for himself and his family. Born into a poor family and married into an oppressive one, he constantly strives for autonomy and identity against the backdrop of post-colonial Trinidad. His dream of owning his own house becomes a symbol of his desire for self-determination and respect in a society that often denies him both.

  2. 2. A Bend in the River by V. S. Naipaul

    "A Bend in the River" is a novel that follows an Indian man, Salim, who moves from the East Coast of Africa to the heart of the continent to open a store in a small, remote town at a bend in the river. The book explores the changes that occur in the town as it evolves from a sleepy outpost to a bustling city. It also delves into Salim's personal struggles and the challenges he faces in adapting to a rapidly changing society, all set against the backdrop of post-colonial Africa.

  3. 3. The Lonely Londoners by Sam Selvon

    "The Lonely Londoners" is a novel that explores the lives of a group of West Indian immigrants living in London during the 1950s. The narrative follows the characters as they navigate the challenges of racism, poverty, and isolation in a new and unfamiliar environment. Despite their hardships, the characters also experience moments of camaraderie and humor, providing a nuanced portrayal of the immigrant experience.

  4. 4. In a Free State by V. S. Naipaul

    "In a Free State" is a collection of three short stories and a prologue and epilogue, portraying the realities of post-colonial life and the struggles of individuals caught between their native culture and the imposed Western values. The narratives span across India, Egypt, Washington D.C., and Africa, each exploring the themes of displacement, identity crisis, and cultural conflict. The book provides a profound examination of the human condition, the concept of freedom, and the complexities of power dynamics in a post-colonial world.

  5. 5. Crick Crack, Monkey by Merle Hodge

    This novel is a coming-of-age story set in Trinidad, exploring themes of colonialism, identity, and cultural conflict through the eyes of a young girl named Tee. As she navigates the complexities of her Afro-Trinidadian heritage and the imposed British colonial education system, Tee is torn between the warmth and vibrancy of her working-class upbringing with her aunt Tantie and the strict, anglicized environment of her middle-class aunt Beatrice. The narrative delves into the psychological impact of cultural dislocation and the struggle to find a sense of belonging in a society deeply fractured by class and race.

  6. 6. Guerrillas by V. S. Naipaul

    "Guerrillas" is a novel set on a Caribbean island, exploring themes of race, politics, and power. The plot follows a group of characters, including a disillusioned Englishwoman, a struggling black activist, and a charismatic but dangerous mixed-race man who leads a band of guerilla fighters. As the tension and violence escalate, the novel delves into the complexities of post-colonial society and the struggle for identity and self-determination.

  7. 7. Fireflies by Shiva Naipaul

    This novel explores the complexities of post-colonial Trinidad through the lens of the protagonist's tumultuous family life and his arranged marriage. Set against a backdrop of societal change and personal disillusionment, the narrative delves into themes of identity, tradition, and the search for meaning in a rapidly transforming world. The protagonist's journey is marked by his struggle to reconcile his ambitions and desires with the expectations placed upon him by his family and community, ultimately presenting a poignant critique of the societal norms and cultural heritage that both bind and divide the characters. Through vivid storytelling and rich character development, the book offers a nuanced examination of the human condition within a specific cultural context.

  8. 8. Milkman by Anna Burns

    Set during The Troubles in Northern Ireland, this novel follows an unnamed 18-year-old protagonist who is pursued by a powerful, older man known only as the Milkman. Despite her attempts to avoid him and maintain a low profile in her community, rumors spread about their supposed affair, leading to increased scrutiny and isolation. The book explores the protagonist's struggle to maintain her individuality amidst political and social turmoil, while also dealing with the pervasive threat of violence and the power of gossip in a close-knit community.

  9. 9. The Future In The Present by C. L. R. James

    "The Future in the Present" is a collection of essays and lectures that delve into the social and political issues of its time, with a focus on the dynamics of class struggle, the importance of revolutionary thought, and the role of the state. The work critically examines the potential for human liberation and the necessary conditions for a society to transition towards socialism. It emphasizes the significance of understanding historical and contemporary movements, while advocating for the active participation of the working class in shaping their future. The author's Marxist perspective is evident as he explores themes of power, resistance, and the quest for a more equitable world.

  10. 10. The Wine of Astonishment by Earl Lovelace

    "The Wine of Astonishment" is a gripping narrative that explores the struggle of a small, rural community in Trinidad during the early 20th century, as they grapple with the effects of colonialism, World War II, and the prohibition of their spiritual practice, the Shouter Baptist faith. The story is told through the eyes of Eva, a strong-willed matriarch, and her husband, Bee, the spiritual leader of the community. The novel examines themes of resilience, faith, and the fight for cultural and religious freedom.

  11. 11. The World Is What It Is: The Authorized Biography Of V. S. Naipaul by Patrick French

    "The World Is What It Is" is a comprehensive biography of the Nobel Prize-winning author V.S. Naipaul. Written by Patrick French, the authorized biography delves into Naipaul's complex personal life, including his troubled relationships with family members and his multiple affairs. The book also explores Naipaul's writing career, from his early days as a struggling writer to his later success as a literary icon. French provides a nuanced portrait of Naipaul, highlighting both his brilliance as a writer and his flaws as a human being.

  12. 12. The Jumbies by Tracey Baptiste

    "The Jumbies" is a captivating and enchanting tale that follows the adventures of Corinne La Mer, a brave and curious young girl living on the island of Trinidad. When a mysterious and powerful jumbie threatens her village, Corinne must use her wit and courage to protect her family and friends. With its rich Caribbean folklore and vivid descriptions, this book takes readers on a thrilling journey filled with magic, friendship, and the triumph of good over evil.

  13. 13. Golden Child by Claire Adam

    Set in rural Trinidad, the book tells the story of a family with twin boys, Peter and Paul. Peter is academically gifted, while Paul is considered to be slower due to a complication at birth. When Paul goes missing, their father is faced with a terrible choice that highlights the stark contrasts between his sons. The novel explores themes of family, sacrifice, and the lengths a parent will go to protect their child.

  14. 14. The Chip Chip Gatherers by Shiva Naipaul

    "The Chip Chip Gatherers" is a novel that explores the complex dynamics of a multi-generational Indo-Trinidadian family, the Khojas, living in Trinidad. The story revolves around the ambitions and struggles of the family patriarch, Egbert, as he attempts to rise above his impoverished beginnings and establish a successful life for his family. However, his efforts are constantly undermined by family squabbles, cultural tensions, and the harsh realities of post-colonial Trinidad. The novel provides a stark portrayal of the struggles faced by immigrants and the destructive power of envy and resentment within a family.

Reading Statistics

Click the button below to see how many of these books you've read!

Download

If you're interested in downloading this list as a CSV file for use in a spreadsheet application, you can easily do so by clicking the button below. Please note that to ensure a manageable file size and faster download, the CSV will include details for only the first 500 books.

Download