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Andrea Levy - Author

About the Author

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 five novels, been a judge for the Orange Prize for Fiction, Orange Futures and the Saga Prize, and has been a recipient of an Arts Council Aw ard. Her most recent novel, The Long Song, was shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize.

 

Author photo © Laurie Fletcher

 

Fellow novelist ANNE BERRY on ANDREA LEVY

Andrea Levy’s writing springs off the page at me. It is so full of energy, colour and verve. Her novel Small Island, rightly showered with awards, about the post war arrival of Caribbean immigrants to Britain and their struggle to integrate into a closed society, is a delight from start to finish.

Featured books by Andrea Levy

Six Stories and an Essay

Six Stories and an Essay

Author: Andrea Levy Format: Paperback Release Date: 07/05/2015

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.

ebook of the month
Six Stories and an Essay

Six Stories and an Essay

Author: Andrea Levy Format: Hardback Release Date: 23/10/2014

 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.

ebook of the month

Other books by Andrea Levy

The Long Song Now A Major BBC Drama

The Long Song Now A Major BBC Drama

Author: Andrea Levy Format: Hardback Release Date: 05/09/2019

Now a major BBC TV drama, starring Tamara Lawrance, Lenny Henry and Hayley Atwell. A Sunday Times bestseller, shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize, The Long Song by Andrea Levy is a hauntingly beautiful, heartbreaking and unputdownable novel of the last days of slavery in Jamaica, for those who loved Homegoing, The Underground Railroad, or the film 12 Years a Slave. 'A marvel of luminous storytelling' Financial Times 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. July is a slave girl who lives upon a sugar plantation named Amity and it is her life that is the subject of this tale. She was there when the Baptist War raged in 1831, and she was present when slavery was declared no more. My son says I must convey how the story tells also of July's mama Kitty, of the negroes that worked the plantation land, of Caroline Mortimer the white woman who owned the plantation and many more persons besides - far too many for me to list here. But what befalls them all is carefully chronicled upon these pages for you to peruse. Perhaps, my son suggests, I might write that it is a thrilling journey through that time in the company of people who lived it. All this he wishes me to pen so the reader can decide if this is a novel they might care to consider. Cha, I tell my son, what fuss-fuss. Come, let them just read it for themselves.

Small Island

Small Island

Author: Andrea Levy Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 18/04/2019

Hortense yearns for a new life away from rural Jamaica, Gilbert dreams of becoming a lawyer, and Queenie longs to escape her Lincolnshire roots. In these three intimately connected stories, hope and humanity meet stubborn reality, tracing the tangled history of Jamaica and Britain. Andrea Levy's epic novel, adapted for the stage by Helen Edmundson, journeys from Jamaica to Britain in 1948 - the year the HMT Empire Windrush docked at Tilbury. It premiered at the National Theatre, London, in 2019, directed by Rufus Norris.

Small Island

Small Island

Author: Andrea Levy Format: Hardback Release Date: 04/10/2018

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...

Six Stories and an Essay

Six Stories and an Essay

Author: Andrea Levy Format: Paperback Release Date: 07/05/2015

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.

ebook of the month
Uriah's War

Uriah's War

Author: Andrea Levy Format: eBook Release Date: 19/06/2014

Written to mark the centenary of the outbreak of WWI, this short story by multi-award-winning, million copy bestselling author Andrea Levy tells the tale of two Jamaican service men in that conflict.

The Long Song Now A Major BBC Drama

The Long Song Now A Major BBC Drama

Author: Andrea Levy Format: CD-Audio Release Date: 06/01/2011

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. July is a slave girl who lives upon a sugar plantation named Amity and it is her life that is the subject of this tale. She was there when the Baptist War raged in 1831, and she was also present when slavery was declared no more. My son says I must convey how the story tells also of July's mama Kitty, of the negroes that worked the plantation land, of Caroline Mortimer the white woman who owned the plantation and many more persons besides - far too many for me to list here. But what befalls them all is carefully chronicled upon these pages for you to peruse. Perhaps, my son suggests, I might write that it is a thrilling journey through that time in the company of people who lived it. All this he wishes me to pen so the reader can decide if this is a book they might care to consider. Cha, I tell my son, what fuss-fuss. Come, let them just read it for themselves.

The Long Song: Shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize 2010 Now A Major BBC Drama

The Long Song: Shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize 2010 Now A Major BBC Drama

Author: Andrea Levy Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 14/09/2010

Longlisted for the Orange Prize, THE LONG SONG is breathtaking, hauntingly beautiful, heartbreaking and unputdownable. 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.

Small Island

Small Island

Author: Andrea Levy Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 30/03/2010

The Long Song: Shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize 2010 Now A Major BBC Drama

The Long Song: Shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize 2010 Now A Major BBC Drama

Author: Andrea Levy Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 01/02/2010

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. July is a slave girl who lives upon a sugar plantation named Amity and it is her life that is the subject of this tale. She was there when the Baptist War raged in 1831, and she was also present when slavery was declared no more. My son says I must convey how the story tells also of July's mama Kitty, of the negroes that worked the plantation land, of Caroline Mortimer the white woman who owned the plantation and many more persons besides - far too many for me to list here. But what befalls them all is carefully chronicled upon these pages for you to peruse. Perhaps, my son suggests, I might write that it is a thrilling journey through that time in the company of people who lived it. All this he wishes me to pen so the reader can decide if this is a book they might care to consider. Cha, I tell my son, what fuss-fuss. Come, let them just read it for themselves.

Small Island

Small Island

Author: Andrea Levy Format: CD-Audio Release Date: 15/01/2009

SMALL ISLAND is a delicately wrought and profoundly moving novel of empire, prejudice, war and love. 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...

Faith in Faithlessness An Anthology of Atheism

Faith in Faithlessness An Anthology of Atheism

Author: Andrea Levy Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 05/09/2008

Small Island: Winner of the 'best of the best' Orange Prize

Small Island: Winner of the 'best of the best' Orange Prize

Author: Andrea Levy Format: Hardback Release Date: 05/12/2005

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.

Fruit of the Lemon

Fruit of the Lemon

Author: Andrea Levy Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 03/02/2000

Faith Jackson fixes herself up with a great job in TV and the perfect flatshare. But neither is that perfect - and nor are her relations with her overbearing, though always loving family. Furious and perplexed when her parents announce their intention to retire back home to Jamaica, Faith makes her own journey there, where she is immediately welcomed by her Aunt Coral, keeper of a rich cargo of family history. Through the weave of her aunt's storytelling a cast of characters unfolds stretching back to Cuba and Panama, Harlem and Scotland, a story that passes through London and sweeps through continents.

Author Info

Author's Website

https://www.andrealevy.co.uk/

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