World music critic Milo Miles says that some of the first recorded black music in the United States was calypso, despite the fact that that the style originated in the Caribbean. Calypso, most often performed during Carnival, was known for being extremely topical -- performers were expected to improvise songs on the spot about current events.
The new novelist's book, The Casual Brutality, deals with a man from Trinidad who moves to Canada -- a narrative inspired by Bissoondath's own life. The writer is descended from Indian immigrants, and is the nephew of fellow author V.S. Naipaul.
Caribbean writer Derek Walcott divides his time between Trinidad and Boston. While his work often focuses on his West Indian identity; Walcott writes in English--the language of the colonizers who suppressed and diluted is country's indigenous culture.