Kevin Jared Hosein

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Kevin Jared Hosein
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CitizenshipTrinidad and Tobago
  • Biology
  • Environmental Studies
Alma materUniversity of West Indies
  • Author
  • Teacher
  • Carribean Short Story 2013 Prize
  • Small Axe Literary Prize

Kevin Jared Hosein is a Caribbean author who is from Trinidad and Tobago.[1][2] He is most well-known for winning the 2018 Commonwealth Short Story Prize, the most global literary prize in the world, with his work, Passage.[1] He also won the regional (Caribbean) section of the Prize in 2015, with The King of Settlement 4. [3]

Background and Education

As a young child, Hosein was not initially interested in reading, but more so in Video game, especially those with story-heavy plots.[4] Later on in his childhood, he became deeply interested in reading and writing, with authors like Stephen King and Cormac McCarthy.[3] He claims, however, that the first “important” book that he read was The Catcher in the Rye.[4] Of Caribbean literature, the 1972 novel No Pain Like This Body, written by Harold Sonny Ladoo, had a large influence on his interest in reading and writing.[3] By the time he got to secondary school, he began showing others his work, starting with his classmates, and asking for their opinions.[3] He claims to have felt quite a lot of pain and misery during secondary school, which he expressed through his writing.[4] Eventually, in form four, his writing gained darker themes, including violence and sexual suggestion.[3] It was during his later teenage years that he claimed to have abandoned religion.[4]

Within his secondary school, literature was not a topic that was offered as a class. Even so, he attempted to later obtain a Bachelor’s Degree in Literature, Journalism, or Humanities. Unfortunately, he was not able to be admitted into these majors, so he obtained a degree in Biology and Environmental studies at the University of the West Indies, which he did not regret. He claims that science has allowed him to understand and deepen his writing in new ways.[3] At one point, he worked for Enterprise Government, teaching children science. He mentions throughout his life he has felt unconnected, as he couldn’t connect with his students well and even was forgotten at his own college graduation.[4]

Works, Awards, and Honors

Hosein has entered the Commonwealth Short Story Prize a total of 6 times, from 2013 to 2018.[3] In 2015, his entry, The King of Settlement 4, won the Caribbean regional arm of the prize.[5] Then in 2018, he won the Commonwealth Short Story Prize, with his work, Passage. His entry won out of 5,200 entries from 48 countries, and he received £5,000 as an award on July 2, 2018, in Cyprus.[1] The team who nominated Hosein was composed of Damon Galgut, Sunila Galappatti, Kateri Akiwenzie-Damm, Mark McWatt, Paula Morris, and Sarah Hall (writer), who was the chair.[2]

Passage, his work that won him the prize in 2018, is written in Trinidadian Creole, and is about a forester’s quest to find a family living away from society, in the mountains of Trinidad, all while going through a midlife crisis. Among many of the themes it discusses, nature and the exploitation of such by humans are recurring.[1][3] He claims that it is based on a true story that he heard while conducting a field trip with his science students, where an actual forestry worker would tell jokes to the students to keep their attention.[6] The story contains many ecological details that are thanks to his biology and environmental science degree, and the time he has spent on trails in the forest. [3]

The first story he entered for the Commonwealth Short Story Prize in 2013, The Monkey Trap, was featured in Pepperpot: Best New Stories from the Carribean.[3] It has also been shortlisted for the Carribean Short Story 2013 Prize and the Small Axe Literary Prize.[7] He wrote a poem titled The Wait is So, So Long, which was turned into a short film that received a Gold Key at the New York-based Scholastic Art & Writing Awards.[5]

He has also written three books: Littletown Secrets, The Best of Kukuyom and The Repenters.[1] The first book which he wrote and illustrated in 2013, Littletown Secrets, was awarded the title of Best Children’s Book of 2013, by the Trinidad Guardian.[5] Then came his book, The Repenters, which was shortlisted for the Bocas Prize and longlisted for the International Dublin Literary Award and the OCM Bocas Prize for Caribbean Literature.[1][8] His most recent book, The Beast of Kukuyo, won the Burt Award for First Nations, Inuit and Métis Literature.[1]


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 1.6 newsamericas (2018-07-26). "This Caribbean National Wins The 2018 Commonwealth Short Story Prize". Caribbean and Latin America Daily News. Retrieved 2021-02-03.
  2. 2.0 2.1 Anderson, Porter (2018-07-25). "Cyprus: Kevin Jared Hosein Named Global Winner of Commonwealth Short Story Prize". Publishing Perspectives. Retrieved 2021-02-03.
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 3.4 3.5 3.6 3.7 3.8 3.9 Ramlochan, Shivanee (2018-11-01). "Kevin Jared Hosein: a writer with a plan | Closeup". Caribbean Beat Magazine. Retrieved 2021-02-03.
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 4.4 Pires, BC (2015-06-14). "The beauty of the writing beast". Trinidad & Tobago Guardian. Retrieved 2021-02-03.
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 "Kevin Jared Hosein". Peepal Tree Press. Retrieved 2021-02-03.
  6. teleSUR Writer. "2018 Commonwealth Short Story Prize to Trinidadian Author". teleSUR HD. Retrieved 2021-02-03.
  7. "Kevin Jared Hosein". CODE's Burt Literary Awards. 2018-05-23. Retrieved 2021-02-03.
  8. "Kevin Jared Hosein". Blue Banyan Books. Retrieved 2021-02-03.

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