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Erna Brodber (born 20 April 1940) is a Jamaican writer, sociologist and social activist.[1] She is the sister of writer Velma Pollard.

Erna Brodber
Erna Brodber.jpg
Born (1940-04-20) April 20, 1940 (age 79)
EducationUniversity College of the West Indies
OccupationNovelist, sociologist, social activist
Notable work
Jane and Louisa Will Soon Come Home (1980); Myal (1988)



Born in the farming village of Woodside, Saint Mary Parish, Jamaica, she gained a B.A. from the University College of the West Indies, followed by an M.Sc and Ph.D, and has received a predoctoral fellowship in psychiatric anthropology. She subsequently worked as a civil servant, teacher, sociology lecturer, and researcher at the Institute for Social and Economic Research in the University of the West Indies (UWI), Mona, Jamaica.[1] After working at the university, she left to work full-time in her home community of Woodside.[2]

She is the author of five novels: Jane and Louisa Will Soon Come Home (1980), Myal (1988), Louisiana (1994), The Rainmaker's Mistake[3] (2007), and Nothing's Mat (2014). Brodber works as a freelance writer, researcher and lecturer in Jamaica. She has received many awards, including the Gold Musgrave medal three times: once from the Institute of Jamaica for work in literature, once from the government of Jamaica for community work, and once from the government of the Netherlands for work in literature and orature[4] Brodber is currently Writer in Residence at the University of the West Indies.

Awards and honoursEdit

She won the Caribbean and Canadian regional Commonwealth Writers' Prize in 1989 for Myal.[5] In 1999 she received the Jamaican Musgrave Gold Award for Literature and Orature.[6] She received a Windham–Campbell Literature Prize in 2017.[7]



  • Jane and Louisa Will Soon Come Home (New Beacon Books, 1980)
  • Myal: A Novel (New Beacon Books, 1988), ISBN 978-0901241863
  • Louisiana (New Beacon Books, 1994)
  • The Rainmaker's Mistake (New Beacon Books, 2007), ISBN 978-1873201206
  • Nothing's Mat (University of West Indies Press, 2014), ISBN 978-9766404949[9]

Articles for the Institute for Social and Economic Research, Jamaica[8]

  • "Abandonment of Children in Jamaica" (1974)
  • "Yards in the City of Kingston" (1975)
  • "Reggae and Cultural Identity in Jamaica" (1981)
  • "Perceptions of Caribbean Women: Toward a Documentation of Stereotypes" (1982)


  • Woodside, Pear Tree Grove P.O. (University of the West Indies Press, 2004), ISBN 978-9766401528
  • The Second Generation of Freemen in Jamaica, 1907–1944 (University Press of Florida, 2004), ISBN 978-0-8130-2759-3
  • The Continent of Black Consciousness: On the History of the African Diaspora from Slavery to the Present Day (New Beacon Books, 2003), ISBN 978-1-873201-17-6


  1. ^ a b Lichtenstein, David P. "A Brief Biography of Erna Brodber". Literature of the Caribbean. Retrieved 17 August 2011.
  2. ^ Samuel, Petal, "Erna Brodber and Pan-Africanism in Post-Independence Jamaica", Black Perspectives, AAIHS, 12 October 2016.
  3. ^ Paul, Annie, "Black rain", Caribbean Review of Books, February 2008.
  4. ^ Broder, Erna, Myal. Waveland Press, Inc., 2014.
  5. ^ Harris, Jennifer. "Career and Awards". Retrieved 17 August 2011.
  6. ^ "Erna Brodber", The Spaces between Words - Conversations with Writers.
  7. ^ Cummings, Mike (1 March 2017). "Yale awards eight writers $165,000 Windham-Campbell Prizes". YaleNews. Retrieved 28 April 2017.
  8. ^ a b Lichtenstein, David P. "Erna Brodber: Works". Literature of the Caribbean. Retrieved 17 August 2011.
  9. ^ Nothing’s Mat page at University of the West Indies Press.

External linksEdit