Victor Stafford Reid (1913 - 1987) - The National Library of Jamaica

Victor Stafford Reid (1913 - 1987)

Vic Reid was born in Kingston on May 1, 1913 to Alexander and Margaret Reid.  He was educated at Central Primary and the Kingston Technical High School.  During his early life he worked as a farm overseer, a newspaper reporter and at different times edited the weekly newspaper Public Opinion and the news magazine Spotlight.


1949 – New Day
This was the first West Indian novel to be written in dialect form.  It attracted wide and intense attention from literacy critics both in the United States and Britain.

1958 – The Leopard
This was published simultaneously in England and the United State.  Vic Reid was the first Jamaican novelist writing and working in Jamaica whose work was published in both places at the same time.

1960 – Sixty-Five
This publication, under the joint imprint of Jamaica’s Ministry of Education and Longman’s Green and Co., marked the beginning of the Blue Mountain Library series of books which aimed to produce books especially chosen for West Indian children of middle and upper schools.

  • 1967 – The Young Warriors
  • 1971 – Peter of Mount Ephraim
  • 1976 – The Jamaicans
  • 1983 – Nanny Town
  • 1985 – Horses of the Morning (This is a biography of National hero, Rt. Excellent N.W. Manley.)

Public Offices Held

  • 1969 – President, JamaicaLibrary Association
  • 1974-1981 – Chairman , Jamaica National Heritage Trust Commission
  • 1980 – Chairman, Historic Foundation Research Centres


  • 1950 – Silver Musgrave Medal in the Field of Literature
  • 1958 and 1959 – The Non-resident Canada Fellowship
  • 1976 – Gold Musgrave Medal in the field of Literature
  • 1980 – Order of Jamaica
  • 1981 – Norman Manley Foundation Award for Excellence for his contribution to Literature to Jamaica.

Reid’s works have become standard text books for black studies in Jamaica, the Caribbean, England and North America.  He died August 25, 1987, aged 74.