Shortlisted for the Whitbread First Novel Award. Wickedly funny and devastatingly moving, 26a is an extraordinary first novel. Part fairytale, part nightmare, it moves from the mundane to the magical, the particular to the universal with exceptional flair and imagination. A coming-of-age novel with a difference.
Identical twins, Georgia and Bessi, live in the loft of 26 Waifer Avenue. It is a place of beanbags, nectarines and secrets, and visitors must always knock before entering. Down below there is not such harmony. Their Nigerian mother puts cayenne pepper on her Yorkshire pudding and has mysterious ways of dealing with homesickness; their father angrily roams the streets of Neasden, prey to the demons of his Derbyshire upbringing. Forced to create their own identities, the Hunter children build a separate universe. Older sister Bel discovers sex, high heels and organic hairdressing, the twins prepare for a flapjack empire, while baby sister Kemy learns to moonwalk for Michael Jackson.
It is when the reality comes knocking that the fantasies of childhood start to give way. How will Georgia and Bessi cope in a world of separateness and solitude, and which of them will be stronger?
Wickedly funny and devastatingly moving, 26a is an extraordinary first novel. Part fairytale, part nightmare, it moves from the mundane to the magical, the particular to the universal with exceptional flair and imagination. It is for anyone who has had a childhood, and anyone who knows what it is to lose one.
|Publication date:||31st March 2005|
|Collections:||80+ Must-read Novels by Black Writers - Black Lit Matters,|
|Primary Genre||Modern and Contemporary Fiction|
Closing date: 11/11/2021
â€˜This is a satisfying book, full of energy and charmâ€™ Christina Koning The Times
'The writing is both mature and freshly perceptive, creating not only a warmly funny novel of a Neasden childhood -with its engaging minutiae of flapjacks and icepops, lip gloss and daisy hairclips- but a haunting account of the loss of innocence and mental disintegration.' Maya Jaggi Guardian
This sparky debut novel... Enthralling from the first page, this bittersweet fusion of fairytales and nightmares is sugared by nostalgia and salted with sadness Hephzibah Anderson, Daily Mail
Diana Evans is a new literary voice for multicultural Britain. She is a graduate of the University of East Angliaâ€™s Creative Writing MA and has published short fiction in a number of anthologies. She lives in London and works as a journalist and arts critic writing regularly of The Independent and The Stage.More About Diana Evans