Written by Chantel DaCosta

Caribbean Writers – Sharon Maas – Guyana

sharon-maas

“Baby Jesus and Baby Krishna are very good friends, Sister Bernadette told Paul and all the children. Sister Bernadette knew lots of stories about Baby Krishna but she wasn’t allowed to tell them, because Mother Immaculata said that Baby Krishna was naughty, he stole curd and butter, and Baby Jesus was good. That’s why Sister Bernadette said it was Baby Krishna who stole the buttons, and why she wasn’t allowed to tell the Baby Krishna stories. But she still did, sometimes, secretly.”

from the novel, Of Marriageable Age by Sharon Maas, 1999.

Birth Name: Sharon Westmass

Place of Birth: Georgetown, Guyana

Born: 1951

Sharon Maas is a prolific Guyanese novelist.

She was born in Georgetown, Guyana, in 1951. Her mother, Eileen Cox, was one of Guyana’s earliest feminists, human rights activists and consumer advocates. Her father, David Westmaas, was Press Secretary for then Opposition Leader and later President of Guyana, Dr Cheddi Jagan.

She was educated in Guyana and England. Maas went to  St Margaret’s Primary on Camp Street. In 1967, she enrolled in Harrogate Ladies College in the UK.

After leaving school,  Maas worked as a staff journalist at the Guyana Graphic and the Sunday Chronicle in Georgetown. And, in 1971 she set off on a year-long trip in South America. She visited Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador, and, Peru.   Her travel articles were published in the Chronicle.

In 1973 she travelled  to India. On route she visited country in Europe, and stopped in Iran, Afghanistan and Pakistan. Maas spent two years in an ashram in South India.

of-marriageable-age-by-sharon-maas

 

Maas’ first novel, Of Marriageable Age, is set in Guyana and India and was published by HarperCollins in 1999. Subsequent novels were published in 2001 and 2003. Maas has written six novels.  Her novels are set primarily or partly in  Guyana. She writes sweeping historical fiction of family sagas exploring identity and cultural diversity.

Her work has been translated into German, Spanish, French, Danish and Polish. Presently, she works as a social worker in Germany while she continues to work on her fiction.

Noted Works

Fiction

  • Of Marriageable Age, HarperCollins, 1999
  • Peacocks Dancing, HarperCollins, 2001
  • The Speech of Angels, HarperCollins, 2002
  • Sons of Gods – Mahabharata, Karna Books, 2011
  • The Small Fortunes of Dorothea Q, Bookouture, 2015
  • The Secret Life of Winnie Cox, Bookouture, 2015
  • The Sugar Planter’s Daughter, Bookouture, 2016
  • The Girl from the Sugar Plantation, Bookoutture, 2017

 Sources: Goodreads, Amazon, Kaieteur News, Guyana Chronicles, and, Sharon Maas author website.

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