National Institute on Aging

In Memorian: Jan Rynveld Carew, 1920-2012

jan-carewJan Carew, the Guyana-born novelist and professor emeritus of African American studies at Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois, died last month in Louisville, Kentucky. He was 92 years old.

Carew studied at Howard University and then served in the British Army during World War II. After the war he continued his education at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, Charles University in Prague, and the Sorbonne in Paris.

Carew’s first novels, Black Midas and The Wild Coast, were published in 1958. Most of his books focused on Black people of the Caribbean region. In addition to six novels, he wrote numerous works of nonfiction including The Rape of Paradise: Columbus and the Birth of Racism in the Americas and Ghosts in Our Blood: With Malcolm X in Africa, England, and the Caribbean.

Professor Carew joined the Princeton University faculty in 1969 as a lecturer in Third World literature. He moved to Northwestern University in 1973 and chaired the department of African American and Third World studies. He retired from teaching and was granted emeritus status in 1987 but continued his prolific writing. His last book, The Guyanese Wanderer, was published in 2007.


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