All Decent Animals, a novel, looks at personal aesthetic choices and at the island of Trinidad, developing but rich, and aiming at ‘world class’ status amidst its poor, island cousins. It is about relationships examined around the death of an architect bridging ‘first world/third world’, and through the city of Port of Spain. Loyalties, love, conflicting cultures and creativity are central themes. Published by Farrar, Straus & Giroux NY, USA, May 2013, the novel was listed as #6 on Oprah Winfrey’s 2013 Summer Reading List.

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Tide Running, a novel, set in Tobago, is a vernacular account of a young Tobagonian’s intimate, ultimately disastrous intersection with a wealthy interracial couple and the predicament of a young society looking to America for fantasies and heroes. Tide Running was published by Picador, Macmillan UK, 2001, Farrar Straus & Giroux, USA, 2003, Beacon Press USA 2004 and won a Casa De Las Americas prize, 2002. It was also well received on both sides of the Atlantic.

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Writing Sample:

Buxton Spice, a novel, is a coming of age story set in the multi-racial society of Guyana disintegrating under a corrupt government. Buxton Spice was auctioned in London between major publishers and was published by Phoenix House, Orion UK 1998, and by Dutton/Plume, USA 1999, Beacon Press USA 2004. Buxton Spice was long-listed for the Orange Prize and has received international critical acclaim. The novel was serialised for radio by BBC Radio 4 and was also published in five foreign languages.

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Children’s Literature

The Grenada Chocolate Family: A Mama LeSedi Story, a children’s picture book facilitated and edited by Oonya Kempadoo, is an educational Grenadian chocolate story, by children, for children ages 6-10yrs. Drawings for the story by the children led to artist and volunteer Sara Scodeller illustrating it, in consultation with Grenadian illustrator Stacey Byer, as a picture and colouring book. The Grenada Chocolate Family was the winner of Best in the World Charity and Fundraising title at the 2017 Gourmand World Cookbook Awards, along with four additional regional awards: Best Caribbean Cuisine Book, Best Children’s Food Book, Best Chocolate Book and Charity & Fund Raising. All proceeds from the sale of this book go towards the continued public service of the non-profit, Grenada Community Library and Resource Centre, in St George’s Grenada. Written in the Creative Writing program at the library, for participation in the Grenada Chocolate Fest 2015.

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Bibliography of published work

Title (original language)Name of Publishing companyLocation of publisherYear of publication
Buxton Spice (novel)Phoenix House, Orion Dutton/Plume.
Beacon Press
Translations of Buxton Spice:
El Arbol de los SentidosTusquet EditoresSpain1999
Les Secrets du ManguierGrassetFrance1999
Buxton Spice (Dutch)PrometheusHolland1998
A Arvore Dos SentidosASA EditoresPortugal2000
Buxton Spice (Hebrew)Ma’ariv Book GuildIsrael2002
Tide Running (novel)Picador, Macmillan
Farrar, Straus & Giroux
Beacon Press






Translation of Tide Running:
Mar de Fundo (Spanish)Casa de las AmericasCuba2003
Short Stories & Excerpts:
Trinidad Noir Standing on Thin Skin (short story)Akashic BooksNY/USA2008
Caribbean Dispatches – Beyond the Tourist Dream Our Worship Sir (excerpt of Tide Running)MacmillanUK2006
Stories from Blue Latitudes: Caribbean women writers at home and abroad Baywatch an’ de Preacher (excerpt from Tide Running)Seal Press, AvalonUS2006
Bomb magazine, First Proof Was Me Mudda (excerpt from work in progress)Bomb (print only) bombsite.comUS86/Winter 2004
Macomere journal, Dollar-a-pee (short story)Association of Caribbean Women Writers and Scholars (ACWWS) macomerejournal.comUS2009

The Caribbean:
Aesthetics, World-Ecology, Politics. (excerpt from All Decent Animals)

Liverpool University Press

Leaving Island Any Time  (a short story)
Pree literary journalonline2018


“Thanks But . . .” Race & The Politics of Aid & Charity (article) Repeating Islands, online news and commentary, 2017.

A Situational Analysis of Sex Work and the Sex Industry in the Caricom (Final Report) by Kamala Kempadoo with assistance from Oonya Kempadoo, Althea Perkins, Andy Taitt. UNAIDS CAR-RST, 2010.

A Post-Hurricane Ivan Social Situation Analysis of Grenada From Relief to Reconstruction, Problems and Prospects by Dr Phillip Nanton, Dr Wendy Crawford and Oonya Kempadoo. Agency for Reconstruction, Government of Grenada, 2005.

Travel writing/journalism

Caribbean Travel & Life, USA, Dec 2008.
Conde Nast Traveller, UK 1998.
Spore magazine. Various articles and Replanting the “Spice Island”, ACP-EU, N° 141 – June 2009.