|Salkey was born in Panama, but grew up in Jamaica where he was educated at a boarding school. His father remained in Panama; Salkey didn't meet him until he was 32, and this loss permeates his fiction. At 24 he went to London and received his B.A. from the University of London. He taught English and Latin and worked for the BBC as a writer and broadcaster. His first novel, A QUALITY OF VIOLENCE, was published in 1959; the following year he received a Guggenheim grant. Salkey also writes poetry. His fiction works portray the novelist as trickster and deal with the impact of colonialism on Caribbean peoples and their culture, as well as with the themes of exile and nostalgia. Salkey was an important mentor for many young Caribbean writers, editing anthologies of poetry and fiction. He was married and had two sons. At the age of 67, he died of diabetes in Amherst, where he was teaching at Hampshire College.