Sharon O. Tai Biography
Sharon O. Tai is a native of Jamaica who has also lived in Brighton, England, Tokyo, and New York City. A year's stay in Japan convinced her to write books for children, and she loosely based Grandma, You're Dead! on her own childhood in Jamaica, where she grew up the middle child in a single-parent family of three. In Grandma, You're Dead!, young Deena is both terrified and fascinated when the ghost of her grandmother visits her and asks a very important favor. Tai's tale explores Jamaican spirit legends—on the island they call ghosts "duppies." In an interview on the Bloomsbury Publishing Web site, Tai said of her Jamaican setting: "I would love to see more Caribbean writers get published and their books available worldwide. The Caribbean has a rich culture and heritage to offer. It truly is a melting pot."
Before becoming a writer, Tai loved to dance. She performed with two troupes in Jamaica, Jayteens Dance Workshop and Movements Dance Company. She left the island in the 1980s. In her interview, she described herself as "a woman who gets the giggles at the oddest moments."
Biographical and Critical Sources
Bloomsbury Publishing, http://www.bloomsbury.com/childrens/ (June 2, 2004), "Sharon O. Tai."