Search - List of Books by Beryl Gilroy
Beryl Agatha Gilroy (née Answick) (born Springlands, Skeldon Village, British Guiana, 30 August 1924, died London, 4 April 2001) was a novelist. She grew up in a large, extended family, largely under the influence of her maternal grandmother, Sally Louisa James (1868-1967), a herbalist, manager of the family small-holding, keen reader, imparter to the young Beryl of the stories of ‘Long Bubbies’, Cabresses and Long Lady and a treasury of colloquial proverbs.
Total Books: 17
She did not enter full time schooling until she was twelve. From 1943 to 1945, Gilroy attended teacher training college in Georgetown, gaining a first-class diploma. She subsequently taught and lectured on a Unicef nutrition programme. In 1951, at the age of 27, she was selected to attend university in the United Kingdom. Between 1951-53 she attended the University of London pursuing a Diploma in Child Development.
Although a qualified teacher, racism prevented her getting a post for some time, and she had to work as a washer, a factory clerk and maid. She taught for a couple of years, married (one of the earliest inter-racial marriages in the postwar period) and spent the next twelve years at home bringing up and educating her children, furthering her own higher education, reviewing and reading for a publisher. In 1968 she returned to teaching and eventually became the first Black headteacher in London. Her experiences of those years are told in Black Teacher (1976). Later she worked as a researcher at the Institute of Education, University of London and developed a pioneering practice in psychotherapy, working mainly with Black women and children. She gained a PhD in counselling psychology from an American university in 1987 while working at the Institute of Education. In 2000 she was also awarded an honorary doctorate from the Institute "in recognition of her services to education".
Her own creative writing began in childhood, as a teacher for children and then in the 1960s when she began writing what was later published by Peepal Tree Press as In Praise of Love and Children. Between 1970-75 she wrote the pioneering children’s series Nippers which contain probably the first reflection of the Black British presence in UK writing for children.
it was not until 1986 that her first novel, the award winning Frangipani House was published (Heinemann). It won a GLC Creative Writing Prize in 1982. Set in an old person’s home in Guyana, it reflects one of her professional concerns: the position of ethnic minority elders and her persistent emphasis on the drive for human freedom. Boy Sandwich (Heinemann) was published in 1989, followed by Stedman and Joanna: A Love in Bondage (Vantage, 1991), and a collection of poems, Echoes and Voices (Vantage, 1991). Then came Sunlight and Sweet Water (Peepal Tree, 1994), Gather the Faces, In Praise of Love and Children and Inkle and Yarico (all Peepal Tree, 1994). Her last novel, The Green Grass Tango (Peepal Tree) was published in 2001, sadly after Beryl Gilroy’s death in April of that year.
Gilroy's early work examined the impact of life in Britain on West Indian families and her later work explored issues of African and Caribbean diaspora and slavery.
She was the mother of Paul Gilroy. An orange skirt suit worn by Beryl Gilroy was included in an exhibition entitled Black British Style at the Victoria and Albert Museum in 2004.