Sherry Keith, Writer/Author : I’ve been writing one thing or another since childhood. As a teenager, I had ambitions to become a journalist, a technical writer, and a writer of fiction. As a “grown-up” I’ve managed to do a bit of each. Maybe I dreamed of being a writer because women authors were visible back in the 1950s, a time when women doctors, lawyers, mechanics, political leaders, engineers and chefs were not likely to be seen. Then I kept diaries and wrote some poetry. In college as a sociology major at UC Berkeley, I wrote my fair share of essays. I am forever thankful to the stellar public education focused on reading and writing which available while I was growing up in California. .
When I moved to Jamaica, the world of colonialism and imperialism really woke me up. As a newly independent nation, Jamaica was asking all the fundamental questions about social and economic development and social justice. There I found a new trajectory, a pathway which took me on a writing journey, mostly technical and occasionally journalistic. This eventually led to doctoral studies and a dissertation at Stanford University.
From there forward, I was variously in and out of academia and the world of international development policy where writing is fundamental to exposing, explaining and proposing solutions to pressing problems. Since the late 1980s, I have taught social sciences and history at San Francisco State University. Writing has been an ongoing aspect of that work. There are always articles, books, memos, responses to student essays and graduate theses moving like a swift river through my life.
Now I have the luxury of time to write about what I find interesting, important and pressing. In 2012 I published a memoir, The Alligator’s Tooth: Stories From Jamaica, dedicated to my granddaughters and in 2016 a novel, Brazil Lost and Found, the culmination of a long relationship with that extraordinary place. My next project will be a dramatic piece about kidney disease, a little recognized scourge of contemporary society.
Any proceeds from my writings will be donated to organizations working to make the world a better place.