Wordsworth’s White Wife – Review 1

Review by Frank Birbal Singh,
Emeritus Professor of Post-Colonial Literature
at York University, Toronto, Canada.

“Rosie’s documentary zeal in meticulously cataloguing social, cultural, and political aspects of her experience in Guyana, with a sense of wide-eyed wonder, in spite of frustration and grief, is nothing less than exemplary in Wordsworth’s White Wife. ” Continue reading

Wordsworth’s White Wife – Review 2

Cultures on the Cusp in 1970s Guyana
– a review by Chris Cormack
in the Hastings Online Times  


A newly published book by author and Hastings resident, Rosie McAndrew, gives important insights into the nature of inter-racial relationships and an historically key period in the development of multi-culturalism, namely the 1960s/70s when old cultural props were de-stabilised and emerging nations were to develop a new cultural pride and identity,  writes Chris Cormack.

Rosie McAndrew’s memoir Wordsworth’s White Wife works on a number of planes; as a simple memoir of an extraordinary relationship with the odds set against it; as a historic memoir of two nations on the cusp, sixties’ Britain self-questioning of long held hierarchical and ethical codes of society and Guyana (formerly British Guiana) seeking its own new cultural identity after recent independence from Britain in a cultural ‘melting pot’ that reflected multi-racial Guyana. Given Rosie’s philological background (French and Spanish), it is also a fascinating exploration of linguistic melding and development, as creole language and culture is brought to prominence by a remarkable man for the cultural recognition that it undoubtedly deserves. Through the linguistic devices the reader is able to glean important insights into life and culture in 1970s Guyana. Continue reading

Wordsworth’s White Wife – Review 3

Review in the Hastings Independent by Christine Sanderson

When Wordsworth McAndrew died in 2008, he was hailed in his home country of Guyana as a ‘National Treasure’ and the voice of Guyanese folklore. But to Rosie McAndrew, who lives locally near to Ore village, he was her ex-husband and an influence that changed her life completely.

‘Mac’, as Rosie usually called him, was ten years older than her and already well-known in 1968 when the two first met. Both were attending courses at the BBC in London, his in connection with his job in broadcasting and hers to prepare her for Voluntary Service Overseas (VSO) – in the same town, Georgetown, Guyana, working for Broadcasts for Schools (BS) her first real job as a young graduate. There was an instant attraction well before either knew much about the other. Continue reading

Wordsworth’s White Wife – Review 4

Sometimes the Twain do Meet – A review from India, by Atulya Sinha

It is said that the past is a different country – it follows that one’s younger self must be a different person.
It takes much courage to confront that younger self and much talent to describe such encounters.
Rosie McAndrew, the septuagenarian scholar who has written this book, lacks neither courage nor talent.

This book opens with the author’s 22-year old avatar, Rosemary Christine Dexter – earnest, hardworking and optimistic; but also inexperienced, vulnerable and somewhat naïve. While she is getting trained at BBC’s Training Centre in London, prior to working overseas in Guyana, her tutor directs her to meet a group of trainees from Guyana. “My attention was caught immediately by this attractive, self-assured, bearded black man,” she says after catching a glimpse of Wordsworth ‘Mac’ McAndrew, “I liked the jaunty but determined way he moved, full of contained energy. He was quite short – about my height – he was slim and compact, his eyes were alert, and he looked intriguing and charismatic.” Continue reading