Andrea Levy

Andrea Levy was born on 7 March, 1956 in London to Jamaican parents and worked for a social institution where she suffered racist abuse before discovering the power of books.

She began writing in her mid-30s after enrolling in a creative writing class (which she subsequently stayed on for a further seven years). She has won many awards including the Orange Prize for Fiction for Small Island and The Long Song was shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize.

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Andrea Levy Books


    The Long Song (Paperback)

    Andrea Levy

    Shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize in 2010, The Long Song is the story of July and her mother Kitty as they suffer and survive the pain of slavery and demonstrate their strength and defiance to come out the other side. It is not Andrea Levy's first look into black history, having gained much acclaim for her debut novel Small Island. This effort is a serious and, at times, harrowing tale that offers an amazing insight into the slave trade, while also developing a story and two characters that are equally beguiling and remarkable.

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    Every Light in the House Burnin' (Paperback)

    Andrea Levy

    'Better opportunity' -- that's why Angela's dad sailed to England from America in 1948 on the Empire Windrush. Six months later her mum joined him in his one room in Earl's Court...Twenty years and four children later, Mr Jacob has become seriously ill and starts to move unsteadily through the care of the National Health Service. As Angela, his youngest, tries to help her mother through this ordeal, she finds herself reliving her childhood years, spent on a council estate in Highbury.
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    Small Island: Winner of the 'best of the best' Orange Prize (Paperback)

    Andrea Levy


    Adapted for a BBC TV series in 2009, Andrea Levy's Small Island is set in 1948 as England is in the midst of recovering from war. Although Queenie Bligh's conflict has only just begun, as her neighbours do not approve when she agrees to take in Jamaican lodgers. Gilbert Joseph, one of several thousand Jamaican men who joined the RAF to fight against Hitler, remembers a wartime friendship with Queenie and knocks at her door. He and his wife Hortense had longed to leave Jamaica to start a better life in England, but both are shocked at the way they are treated, and how London is not the golden city they thought. Hortense also realises that even Gilbert is not the man she thought he was. The winner of the 2004 Orange Prize for Fiction, Levy's profoundly moving novel handles the weighty themes of empire, prejudice, war and love, with a lightness of touch and a generosity of spirit that challenges and uplifts the reader.

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    Small Island (Hardback)

    Andrea Levy

    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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