Margaret Cezair-Thompson Biography
Margaret Cezair-Thompson was born in Jamaica, West Indies; she attended St Andrews High School for
Girls, a long-established government-subsidized school that has produced many of
Jamaican's most prominent women. She also spent a year at a Roman Catholic
boarding school in the countryside called Servite Convent of the Assumption
School for Girlswhich was a bit like the school she describes Ida as attending
in The Pirate's Daughter. She was expelled after a year and
returned happily to St Andrews.
She came of age as Jamaica emerged from being a British colony to being an
independent nation. She left Jamaica at nineteen years old to attend Barnard
College in New York where she received a B.A. in English. She received her
Ph.D. in English from the City University of New York with a dissertation on V.S.
Naipaul. Since 1990, she has taught literature and creative writing at Wellesley College.
Her son was born in 1999, the same year that her first book, The True History of Paradise, was published.
She's also published short fiction, essays, reviews, and interviews in various
magazines. Her first screenplay, Photo Finish, about a
Jamaican-American athlete, was sold to Oprah Winfreys Harpo Productions in 1994
(now Harpo-Disney). The True History of Paradise was selected as one of
six finalists for the Dublin International IMPAC Award.
Her interests include movies, Victorian and Modern British fiction and poetry,
Caribbean and British colonial history, postcolonial literature and film
(especially related to the Caribbean and Africa), and Jamaican music. The
authors she returns to again and again are Edith Wharton, Virginia Woolf, Thomas
Hardy, Paule Marshall, Ben Okri, Jean Rhys, William Shakespeare (especially the
tragedies), Joyces Dubliners, Thackerays Vanity Fair,
Conrads Heart of Darkness, Yeats, Wallace Stevens, and the King James
She currently lives in Massachusetts.
This biography was last updated on 07/27/2011.
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