Williams, Mona

Williams, Mona

In Brief

Mona Williams is a Guyanan storyteller, children's writer and educator. She has written numerous books, and has performed her work at various storytelling festivals and schools. The titles of her books give an idea of the vast, magical world they present, from The ant who refused titles (1975), to How we made a colour television show (1973). She also published her autobiography, Bishops: My Turbulent Colonial Youth in 1995.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Williams, Mona (1943 - ) is a Guyanan storyteller, children's writer and educator whose action-packed stories and dramatic presentations enthrall audiences of all ages.

Born in Guyana - then British Guiana - she secured a place at the exclusive girls' school Bishops. The school lends it name to her autobiography, Bishops: My Turbulent Colonial Youth (1995) which recounts her experiences at the school, both destructive and enriching. On one hand Williams quickly discovered her place at the school as 'poor, black and unknown.' On the other, she embraced the joys of English literature, music and culture, reading Dickens, singing Anglican hymns and cooking roast beef and Yorkshire pudding in the sweltering equatorial heat.

Mona Williams is the author of more than twenty four books, mostly for children. Their titles give an idea of the vast, varied, and magical world they present, from The ant who refused titles (1975) to How we made a colour television show (1973). She has performed at storytelling festivals, and at numerous schools as part of the Book Council's Writers in Schools programme.

She was the 1993 Waikato University Writer-in-Residence.

Her titles are: How we made a colour television show (1973); The turtle who longed to be a bird (1973); Christmas in Guyana (1974); The day I swam the river (1974); How the goat lost his voice (1974); Old Medicine (1974); The ant who refused titles (1975); Granny (1975); Father Martin Heale (1975); Old Bell (1975); When I went to the pictures (1975); Stealing the gooseberry jam (1975); Thinking about it (1975); Speaking the truth (1975); You really saw my father? (1976); A tale to match (1977); Spell wool (1977); Sharing (1977); The outsider (1977); Secrets (1978); The Bicycle (1978); Old Mrs Davidson (1983); The strange cure (1984); Two of a kind (with Joy Cowley) (1984); Bishops: My Turbulent Colonial Youth (1995).

As of 2013 Mona Williams has visited over 50 foreign countries. She taught writing in the Middle East for ten years, and performed as a storyteller at various festivals, conferences and weddings. The towns and cities where she performed include Rotterdam, Edinburgh, Zurich, Selkerk, Salmiya (Kuwait), Bergen (Norway), Ontario (Canada), Tembagapura (Irian Jaya), and Norfolk Island.

Mona Williams lives in Wellington, New Zealand and is available for Writers in Schools visits.

(With thanks to Margot Schwass for her review of Bishops in the NZ Listener.)

Last updated: 28 May 2013


Updated January 2017.