Guyana's Seawall Girl


Guyana’s Seawall Girl

This biographical novel Guyana’s Seawall Girl by Erwin K Thomas is available at It paints a picture of love that triumphant.  In the 1950s to 80s, this story occurs against the backdrop of the Republic of Guyana, West Indian Islands, and America.  It tells about Kevin, and his romantic relationships.  One was with Gwen, who was also on a roller-coaster ride with emotional affairs. 

Buffeted by local political, and cultural intrigues, these affairs were unsettling. He was drawn by educational opportunities to study in the United States, and she was left behind in Georgetown.  In America, Kevin had a romantic episode with a British blonde Susan, but found their relationship going nowhere.  In the 1960s to 70s, while studying in Oregon, New York, and Missouri, he was swept up in the social, and cultural revolution sweeping through America.  He however didn’t forget Gwen with whom he had a sexual encounter on May 26th, 1966 - Guyana’s Independence Day.

 This seawall which is a symbol of life in the novel prevents the Atlantic Ocean from flooding the low-lying coastland of the East Coast. Kevin wished to do right with Gwen, while pursuing studies in America, but decided to marry Lynn, an Irish American.  Unknown to her, he continued writing Gwen whom he saw during trips to Guyana, for he never stopped loving her.  Eventually, Kevin taught at American universities, had a family, but still couldn’t forget about her. Meanwhile, Gwen was involved in a relationship back home with UG’s Professor Harry, who refused to leave his wife.  With these heart-aches she was conflicted, struggled over Kevin’s love, and upset by Harry’s advances. But with these problems, she continued teaching at St. Cyril’s Anglican, while completing an undergraduate degree at UG.

 With Billy and Nora as friends, Gwen, lived under the watchful eyes of her parents. Her determination paid off, and she left Guyana to further her studies in America. She visited Kevin’s family in Virginia Beach, went on to Boston University, and later earned a doctorate from the University of Washington, Seattle.  It was while living in Seattle, she fell in love with an American naval officer, married, and lived happily with her family.



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