Roy was a Guyanese writer who settled in the UK. He studied law and was called to the bar in 1964 but pursued a career as a schoolteacher and writer. His first novel, A Man Come Home, was published in 1974. The Murderer followed in 1978 and won the Guardian Fiction Prize.
He went on to become more noted for his “Georgetown Trilogy” of novels consisting of From the Heat of the Day (1979), One Generation (1980), and Genetha (1981). His other published novels are Kwaku, or, The Man Who Could Not Keep His Mouth Shut (1982), Orealla (1984), The Shadow Bride (1988) and The Ministry of Hope (1997). He also wrote non-fiction and plays. He won the Guyana Theatre Guild Award in 1972 and was awarded the Guyana Prize for Literature in 1989.