Elma Napier

Elma Napier (1892-1973) wrote Black and White Sands in the 1960s in Dominica. By then she had written two novels, Duet in Discord and A Flying Fish Whispered, both published before the second world war, and two memoirs, Youth is a Blunder and Winter is in July.

Elma Napier was born in Scotland, the daughter of Sir Wiliam Gordon Cumming, who, famously, was accused of cheating while playing cards with the Prince of Wales. She settled in Dominica in 1932 with her husband and two young children and built a home, known as Pointe Baptiste, in Calibishie, on the then remote north coast of the island.

She later became the first woman to sit in a Caribbean parliament and first served in Dominica’s Legislative Assembly in 1947. She died in Dominica in 1973.

Elma Napier, Papillote Press