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Garth St. Omer was born in St Lucia in 1931. During the early 1950s St. Omer was part of a group of artists in St Lucia including Roderick and Derek Walcott. His first publication, the novella Syrop, appeared in 1964, followed by the Faber publications of A Room on the Hill (1968), Shades of Grey (1968), Nor Any Country (1969) and J-, Black Bam and the Masqueraders in 1972. In the 1970s he moved to the USA, where he completed a doctoral thesis at Princeton University in 1975. Until his retirement as Emeritus Professor, he taught at the University of Santa Barbara in California. In 2001 he was honoured with the Saint Lucia Medal of Merit for service in the Arts and Literature.