Small Island

Front Cover
Headline Publishing Group, Oct 4, 2018 - Immigrants - 448 pages

Small Island by bestselling author Andrea Levy won the Orange Prize for Fiction, and the Orange Prize's 'Best of the Best', as well as the Commonwealth Writers' Prize and the Whitbread. It is possibly the definitive fictional account of the experiences of the Empire Windrush generation.

'Honest, skilful, thoughtful and important' - Guardian


It is 1948, and England is recovering from a war. But at 21 Nevern Street, London, the conflict has only just begun. Queenie Bligh's neighbours do not approve when she agrees to take in Jamaican lodgers, but Queenie doesn't know when her husband will return, or if he will come back at all. What else can she do?

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. It's desperation that makes him remember a wartime friendship with Queenie and knock at her door.

Gilbert's wife Hortense, too, had longed to leave Jamaica and start a better life in England. But when she joins him she is shocked to find London shabby, decrepit, and far from the golden city of her dreams. Even Gilbert is not the man she thought he was...

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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - oldblack - www.librarything.com

Didn't find this at all engaging. Perhaps too remote from my experience, but I think the characters seemed two-dimensional and their inner thoughts too hidden from me. Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - AJBraithwaite - LibraryThing

Solidly researched and skillfully woven, I thoroughly enjoyed this novel. It's a strong reminder of how small-minded Europeans can be in relation to the people of their former colonies. I had no idea ... Read full review

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About the author (2018)

Andrea Levy was born in England to Jamaican parents who came to Britain in 1948. After attending writing workshops when she was in her mid-thirties, Levy began to write the novels that she, as a young woman, had always wanted to read - entertaining novels that reflect the experiences of black Britons, which look at Britain and its changing population and at the intimacies that bind British history with that of the Caribbean.She has written six books, including SMALL ISLAND, which was the unique winner of both the Orange Prize for Fiction and the Whitbread book of the Year, in addition to the Commonwealth Writer's Prize and the Orange Prize 'Best of the Best'. Her most recent novel, THE LONG SONG, won the Walter Scott Prize and was shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize.

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