The English-born writer of Dear Future (1996) and the Longest Memory (1994), he was a winner of the David Highman Prize for Fiction. Also a poet, he received the 1999 Guyana Poetry Prize for both Mama Dot (1985) and Airy Hall (1989).
He dedicated himself to creative writing after earning a degree in Caribbean Studies from the University of Kent.
He began teaching English at Virginia Tech in 2003.
He was the first child of Malcom D'Aguiar and Kathleen Messiah. He was born in London, England to a family of Guyanese descent.
He was a 2009 finalist for the prestigious T.S. Eliot Prize.