Six Stories and an Essay
Andrea Levy, author of the Man Booker shortlisted novel THE LONG SONG and the prize-winning, million-copy bestseller SMALL ISLAND, draws together a remarkable collection of short stories from across her writing career, which began twenty years ago with the publication of her first novel, the semi-autobiographical EVERY LIGHT IN THE HOUSE BURNIN’.
‘None of my books is just about race,’ Levy has said.’They’re about people and history.’ Her novels have triumphantly given voice to the people and stories that might have slipped through the cracks in history. From Jamaican slave society in the nineteenth century, through post-war immigration into Britain, to the children of migrants growing up in ’60s London, her books are acclaimed for skilful storytelling and vivid characters. And her unique voice, unflinching but filled with humour, compassion and wisdom, has made her one of the most significant and exciting contemporary authors.
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.
Every scene is rich in implication, entrancing and disturbing at the same time; the literary equivalent of a switch-back ride - The Sunday Times SMALL ISLAND is a great read, delivering the sort of pleasure which has been the stock-in-trade of a long line of English novelists. It's honest, skilful, thoughtful and important - Guardian It's a magnificent achievement - and - the best compliment one novelist can give another, made me jealous What makes Levy's writing so appealing is her even-handedness. All her characters can be weak, hopeless, brave, good, bad - whatever their colour. The writing is rigorous and the bittersweet ending, with its unexpected twist, touching... People can retain great dignity, however small their island - Independent on Sunday THE LONG SONG is is told with irresistible cunning; it is captivating, mischievious and optimistic, generating new stories and plot lines throughout the tale - Daily Telegraph
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