Arts Forum saddened at passing of Roy Heath

Roy A.K. HeathThe Arts Forum yesterday expressed its sadness at news of the passing of Guyanese novelist Roy A.K. Heath on Wednesday in London.

The Arts Forum in a release yesterday from Secretary/Director Ameena Gafoor extended condolences to the bereaved family – his wife Millie of 53 years, and their  two sons Rohan and Roy.
Heath was born in 1926 in then British Guiana and migrated to London in 1950  and began writing a rich body of novels that speak directly to the social and cultural realities of his native land, both in the colonial and post-colonial period.

His ‘Shadow Bride’ won the Guyana Prize for Literature in 1989.
His short stories appeared in magazines and anthologies including the BBC anthology and short story series up to the mid-nineties. One work of drama, Inez Combray, was staged at the Theatre Guild, Georgetown.

And Heath delivered the Edgar Mittelholzer Memorial Lectures entitled “Art and Experience” in 1983.

His tribute to Aubrey Williams was  read at an exhibition of the paintings of  the Guyanese artist, at White Chapel Gallery, London in 1998.

Heath published the first part of his autobiography  “Shadows Round the Moon” in 1991,  but could not bring himself to write the second part, saying that he “would have to bring England in.”   He lived all his life as an exile, refusing to be adopted by Britain or claim to be British.

As a novelist, Heath represented a liberal imagination in his reinterpretations of the experiences of the diverse strands of humanity he found in the society, the release concluded.  

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