A moving tale set in Jamaica during the last years of slavery from Orange Prize winner Andrea Levy. You do not know me yet. My son Thomas, who is publishing this book, tells me, it is customary at this place in a novel to give the reader a little taste of the story that is held within these pages. As your storyteller, I am to convey that this tale is set in Jamaica during the last turbulent years of slavery and the early years of freedom that followed.
"A brilliantly funny and tragic story"
Andrea Levy's acclaimed Small Island is a delicately wrought and profoundly moving novel of empire, prejudice, war, and love. It was awarded the 2004 Orange Prize for Fiction, the 2004 Whitbread Book of the Year Award, and the 2005 Commonwealth Writers Prize. It is 1948, and England is recovering from a war. But at 21 Nevern Street, London, the conflict has only just begun.
"Terrific narration, compelling story"
Queenie Bligh's neighbours do not approve when she agrees to take in Jamaican lodgers, but Queenie doesn't know when, or if, her husband, posted to India during the war, will return....Gilbert Joseph was one of the several thousand Jamaican men who joined the RAF to fight against Hitler. Returning to England as a civilian, he finds himself treated very differently. Through the stories of these characters, Small Island explores a point in England's past when the country began to change.
"Abridgment makes the story incomprehensible"
In this episode, John Wilson takes author Andrea Levy back to the building where her creative success took root. When she started doing an adult education class in creative writing, Andrea realised hers was a voice which had something powerful and resonant to say. Encouraged by her classmates, some of her first forays into creative writing were the starting point for her first novel, Every Light in the House Burnin'.
John Wilson reunites her with her creative writing tutor, Alison Fell, and class mate Albyn Hall.
This collection opens with an essay about how writing has helped Andrea Levy to explore and understand her heritage. She explains the context of each piece within the chronology of her career and finishes with a new story, written to mark the centenary of the outbreak of the Great War in 1914. As with her novels, these stories are at once moving and honest, deft and humane, filled with insight, anger at injustice, and her trademark lightness of touch.