Originally Posited On: July 9, 2022
By: Patrick Carpen
Sharon Maas is a Guyanese born international bestselling author who presently resides in Ireland. Many of her novels feature events and settings of Guyana, South America. Through her writing, she raises awareness of her homeland.
Sharon Mass was born in the city of Georgetown, Guyana, South American in September 1951. Her mother was Eileen Cox, who was at the time married to David Westmaas, but divorced when Sharon was three. Her mother became well known in Guyana as a leading women’s rights and consumer affairs activist, while her father became active in the People’s Progressive Party founded by Dr Cheddi Jagan. In their later years, Eileen Cox founded the Guyana Consumer Association, while David worked for Dr Jagan as his Press Secretary.
As the child of divorced parents, Sharon grew up between her grandmothers’ homes in Lamaha Street and Crown Street, Georgetown. She loved animals and reading above all, and from an early age dreamed of travelling abroad. In the end, she persuaded her mother to send her to an English girls’ boarding school at the age of ten. Later, she returned to Georgetown and attended the Bishops’ High School. After finishing school, she became a staff journalist at the Guyana Graphic, moving later to the Chronicle where she wrote human interest features and, later, travel articles.
At the age of nineteen, she set off with two friends to explore the continent of South America, backpacking through Brazil, Peru, Ecuador and Colombia for over a year. Later, she left Guyana to travel to India, travelling overland across Europe and Asia. She lived in India for eighteen months before moving to Germany, where she married a German citizen. She lived in Germany for over forty years; there, she studied Social Work and worked for several years in Probation.
In 2017 following the death of her husband after a long illness, she moved to Ireland, where her daughter had settled with a growing family. Sharon has lived in Ireland ever since, and in retirement has been able to do what she does best, which is to write fiction.
Even as a child, Sharon loved writing stories, but it took many years for her to develop the confidence to write a full length novel. Her first novel, Of Marriageable Age, was published by HarperCollins, London, in 1999, when she was almost fifty years old; it is a many-layered family saga set in Guyana, India, and England. This novel was quite successful and was translated into six languages. Over the following years, several more novels followed: historical novels set in colonial Guyana, as well as World War Two novels set in France, Germany, and Asia. To date, she has published thirteen novels, with several more in the pipeline.
Sharon loves bringing history to life through fiction. At school, she always found history boring as she felt it was always just a tedious account of past events. Through fiction, she can help readers to relive some of the important developments of the past. She especially loves the fact that international readers can become aware of and connect to her beloved homeland Guyana through her books. Her latest novel is a reconstruction of the Jonestown mass suicide of 1978, in which Sharon takes readers into the thick of the tragedy.
Learn more about Sharon Maas and her awesome publications via her website: www.sharonmaas.com.
Source: Guyana, South America