Colin Miner, on his blog Gutenberg Revisited, posted a piece today on Andrea Levy’s new novel, The Long Song, that basically convinces us that we need to get a copy immediately. You can read the full article here, buy the book here, or go to Levy’s website for more description. Her lyricism could float an island, but she has the story too. Miner quotes Levy:
“The last thing I wanted to do was write a novel about slavery in Jamaica,” she writes. “Yet writing about the experience of slavery was a natural progression for me. Small Island, my last novel was the story of Jamaican immigrants to England in the early years after World War Two. Before that I had written three other novels that dealt in some way or another with the experience of black people in Britain. How could I not write about where and why the relationship with the Jamaica and the Caribbean began? It made sense. I had to do it.”
And she started researching and the more she learned, the more she discovered that over the hundreds of years of slavery in Jamaica, a “massive social system — a society in the true sense” — had developed and endured…people were suffering and dying. But clearly people were living and surviving as well.
“The Long Song is my tribute to them and, I hope, an inspirational story not only for their descendants, but for us all.”
She has succeeded.”