Neville Dawes was born in Nigeria in 1926 of Jamaican parents, but grew up in rural Sturge Town in Jamaica. He studied for an MA at Oxford (Oriel College) and later taught in Jamaica, Ghana and Guyana.
He wrote two novels, The Last Enchantment and Interim and a critical work, Prolegomena to West Indian Literature. He was appointed Director of the Institute of Jamaica on his return to Jamaica and established the Institute’s short-lived but important publishing programme.
Always a Marxist, he was deeply immersed in Africa, in English Literature and in his nationalist identification with the rural Jamaican working class. His writing is located within these poles.