The brilliant autobiography of one of the Caribbean’s most multifaceted personalities records Edric Connor’s early life from the idyllic setting of Peter Hill, Mayaro to his migration to Port of Spain and his departure to England where he was able to carve out successful careers as singer, stage and screen actor, radio broadcaster and film-maker.
Born in 1913, Connor’s sensibilities and his fascination with horizons were nurtured by the view from his Mayaro bedroom window which opened out towards the east and the Atlantic Ocean with its distant horizon. For Connor, the horizon represented a promise, not a boundary and he not only envisaged, but lived his life as a constant faring forward towards and beyond horizons.
Connor’s Trinidad years are best distinguished by his passionate advocacy of genuine and legitimate cultural form. Some of the most rewarding moments of his autobiography are Connor’s joyful evocation of the communal solidarity which defined Trinidad rural life at the turn of the twentieth century.
Those who, like George Lamming, knew him in his London period, remember Connor as a man of singular generosity who residence was home, embassy and all-purpose bureau to Caribbean students, politicians, aspirants to political office and artistes.
The late 1950s represented the pinnacle of Connor’s career as a stage actor when he appeared in the production of Shakespeare’s Pericles at Straford-upon-Avon, and it was during this period also that he completed Songs for Trinidad, a book of folksongs, and launched his own film company. Connor wrote his autobiography in late 1964 whilst convalescing from a heart attack. He died in 1968 at the relatively young age of 55.
Connor’s text has been reproduced in its original version excepts for minimal editing and the addition of some explanatory notes by Professor Bridget Brereton, who along with Professor Gordon Rohlehr also provide an enlightening introduction to the Connor life story within the social, cultural and historical context of early twentieth century Trinidad and Tobago. George Lamming’s Foreword and intimate portraits of Connor’s life, by his former wife Pearl Connor-Magotsi, in her essay My Life with Edric Conner, round off this complete portrait of the life, times and achievements of a Caribbean cultural icon.