Robert Antoni

Robert Antoni, photo by Ali Bujnowski
Robert Antoni, photo by Ali Bujnowski

Equal parts Trinidadian, Bahamian, and American, Robert Antoni is the author of five award-winning books, including the landmark novel Divina Trace, for which he received a Commonwealth Writers’ Prize. His novel As Flies to Whatless Boys was the overall winner of the 2014 OCM Bocas Prize for Caribbean Literature.

His short fiction has been included in The Oxford Book of Caribbean Short Stories and chosen for the Aga Kahn Prize for Fiction by the Paris Review. He is the recipient of a Lifetime Achievement Award from the National Library of Trinidad and Tobago, a creative writing fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts, and a 2010 Guggenheim Fellowship.

Recognized for his use of dialect, Antoni has described his attempt “to get that spoken language down on the page, in a way that is both readable and convincing—hopefully, even for readers who have never traveled to the West Indies. It’s the most agonizing and enjoyable aspect of my writing. And all of my books, to greater or lesser extent, are written in some form of West Indian vernacular—or vernaculars. It’s what I live for.”

Antoni holds a master’s degree from the writing seminars at Johns Hopkins University and a doctorate degree from the Iowa Writers’ Workshop. He lives in Manhattan and teaches in the Pan-European MFA in Creative Writing program. His forthcoming novel is Cut Guavas, or Postscript to the Civilization of the Simians.


selected bibliography

As Flies to Whatless Boys (2013)
Carnival (2005)

My Grandmother’s Erotic Folktales (2001)
Divina Trace (1992)

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online resources

Robert Antoni’s website
BOMB Magazine Interview
Ed Battistella Interview with Antoni

Video: As Flies to Whatless Boys, Robert Antoni, Interview