Vijay Seshadri at The Paris Review:
The early notices of Kamau Brathwaite’s death yesterday emphasized the indisputable fact that he was a Caribbean and West Indian writer. The emphasis says something crucial about Brathwaite as a person and an artist. He wrote over thirty books of an astonishing variety and sophistication—history, anthropology, tracts and polemics, poetry and fiction (the poetry and fiction unique and radical in the way language and the technologies of language are understood and deployed). He ranged over three continents during his tremendous career. He went to college in England and studied with F. R. Leavis. He did not only live and work in Africa, he had an Africanist period in his thinking and took an African first name. He taught in New York. He never, though, separated himself from either his imaginative allegiance to the speech and culture of the English-speaking Caribbean or his physical allegiance to his birthplace, Barbados. The eulogies now pouring out of that island are rich with the kind of grief and pride that are triggered only by the loss of a beloved native son.