23. ilb 06. – 16.09.2023
Portrait Monique Roffey
© Hartwig Klappert

Monique Roffey

Monique Roffey was born in Port of Spain, Trinidad, in 1965. She studied English and film at the University of East Anglia and received her doctorate in creative writing from Lancaster University. Between 2002 and 2006 she was a Centre Director for the Arvon Foundation, from 2006 to 2012 she held posts as writer in residence for the Royal Literary Fund.

Roffey debuted in 2002 with her novel »Sun Dog«, in which the everyday is juxtaposed with the supernatural. One day, the body of thirty-year-old August Chalamin, who works in a delicatessen in west London, undergoes a Kafka-like metamorphosis. In winter frost forms on his skin, and in spring flowers sprout from it. Roffey’s novel about identity and self-discovery was followed in 2009 by »The White Woman on the Green Bicycle«, which was short-listed for the Orange Prize. It is the story of British couple wishing to establish a life in Trinidad as well as »a searing account of the bitter disappointment suffered by Trinidadians on securing their independence from British colonial rule« (»The London Evening Standard«). »With the Kisses of His Mouth« (2011) is a very personal book about sexual liberation and self-discovery. Her novel »Archipelago« (2011) returns to the Caribbean; a family is torn apart by the destruction of its house in a flood. To come to terms with all the losses they have experienced, father, daughter and the family dog set out on a sailing trip and take on nature’s challenges. The novel won the OCM Bocas Prize for Caribbean Literature in 2013. »House of Ashes« (2014) is a fictional account of the events surrounding the 1990 coup attempt in Trinidad, one of the darkest moments in the history of the island. Roffey’s most recent work, »The Tryst« (2017), is part psychological thriller and part magical realism. It depicts a married couple in their forties whose relationship, though harmonious, has grown stale. This changes abruptly when a third person, the sexual whirlwind Lilah, enters their lives.

Roffey is a lecturer in creative writing at Manchester Metropolitan University. Since 2013 she has been an advocate for emerging writers from Trinidad, including at the College of Science, Technology and Applied Arts of Trinidad and Tobago, the Bocas Literature Festival, and she led numerous private workshops. The author lives in London and Port of Spain.


Sun Dog

Simon & Schuster

London, 2002

The White Woman on the Green Bicycle

Simon & Schuster

London, 2009


Simon & Schuster

London, 2011

House of Ashes

Simon & Schuster

London, 2014

The Tryst

Dodo Ink

London, 2017