In my letter of July 6, 2018, “Not true that Guyana Prize has shown bias towards writers in exile,” I did not mention the following:
Ryhaan Shah’s career as a novelist virtually began with the publication of “A Silent Life” (Peepal Tree, 2005). She won the Guyana Prize for the Best First Book of Fiction, and received that award as a locally resident writer.
Shah achieved this with a published book, but it adds to the evidence of yet another local writer who was at that time unknown to most of the judges, earning the Prize in fair competition when there were other writers resident overseas in the field. Also not mentioned were other local residents who won the Guyana Prize: Martin Carter for “Selected Poems” (1989); and Ian McDonald for “Essequibo“(1992) and “Between Silence and Silence” (2004). They were already established writers at the time.
Secretary, Guyana Prize