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Rosa Guy

Rosa Guy (1922-2012) was an American writer who was born in Trinidad but whose family migrated to the United States when she was a child. She was a founder of the Harlem Writers Guild in 1950 and influential in encouraging African-Americans to publish their work.

Rosa and her sister were left with relatives in Trinidad while their parents emigrated in 1927. The girls joined their parents in Harlem in 1932, but where separated when their mother became ill the following year and they were sent to live with relatives. The girls returned to Harlem and their father after their mother died in 1934, but were sent to an orphanage after their father died in 1937.

Rosa supported herself with factory work from the age of 14. She began writing because she needed to express herself. Her first novel, Bird at My Window was published in 1966 but she became best known for her trilogy for young adults: The Friends (1973), Ruby (1976) and Edith Jackson (1978).

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