26a

by Diana Evans

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LoveReading Expert Review of 26a

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.

Head to our 'Black Lit Matters' list to find more must-read novels by black writers.

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26a Synopsis

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.

About This Edition

ISBN: 9780701177966
Publication date: 31st March 2005
Author: Diana Evans
Publisher: Vintage
Format: Hardback
Collections: 80+ Must-read Novels by Black Writers - Black Lit Matters,
Primary Genre Modern and Contemporary Fiction
Other Genres:
Recommendations:
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What To Read After 26a

The Dragonfly Sea
The Memory of Love
The Origins of Iris
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Diana Evans Press Reviews

 â€˜This is a satisfying book, full of energy and charm’ 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 

Other editions of this book

ISBN: 9780099479048
Publication date: 02/03/2006
Format: Paperback

ISBN: 9780701177966
Publication date: 31/03/2005
Format: Hardback

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About Diana Evans

Diana Evans is a new literary voice for multicultural Britain. She  is a graduate of the University of East Anglia’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.

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