The six novels and the collections of essays by George Lamming, who has died aged 94, did much to shape Caribbean literary culture. He also contributed to it as an educator and activist intellectual, mentoring a host of young writers and scholars in the Caribbean and beyond.

His first and most famous novel, In the Castle of My Skin (1953), drawing on his upbringing in Barbados, was published in Britain after he had gone there from Trinidad in 1950.

It is an autobiographical novel that recreates the author’s life between the ages of nine and 16 against the backdrop of major labour unrest in June 1937 that presaged the movement toward independence from colonial rule.