Cultural Achievements

Guyana's cultural expression reflects its separate ethnic contributions and has a regional rather than a universal orientation. A number of its best-known novelists have lived abroad, including Edgar Mittelholzer, The Kwayana Family Trilogy, which focuses on one family through 350 years of Guyana's history; Christopher Nicole, Ratoon; Jan Carew, Black Midas; Roy Heath, Orealla; and E.R. Braithwaite, To Sir With Love, which details his experiences as a black high school teacher in a white London slum. His work was praised for its hopeful view of difficult race relations and became the subject of a major motion picture. Another prominent, avant-garde writer is Wilson Harris, The Palace and the Peacock. Additionally, Churamanie Bissundyal, a writer is also becoming better known in writing circles the world over. Among the country's outstanding poets are Martin Carter, Poems of Resistance, and A.J. Seymour, who wrote I Was Born in Georgetown. Denis Williams has gained fame as a painter, novelist, curator, and anthropologist. Philip Moore is well known for his wood sculptures, which show African influence.

Art takes many forms in Guyana, but its dominant themes are the Amerindians, the ethnic diversity of the population and the physical beauties of Guyana. The works of Stanley Greaves, Ronald Savory, Philip Moore and the late Aubrey Williams have been much in demand in the last two decades. Savory's works in particular have brought the hard-to-reach interior within view of urban dwellers.

The Guyana Theater Guild, active for more than 20 years, stages productions of Caribbean and US plays. Also popular in Guyana are steel drum bands and, particularly among Indo-Guyanese, East Indian classical music and dance.