Longlisted for the 2010 Orange Prize and shortlisted for the 2010 Man Booker Prize, THE LONG SONG is a breathtaking, hauntingly beautiful, heartbreaking novel.
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.
'The Long Song is is told with irresistable cunning; it is captivating, mischievious and optimistic, generating new stories and plot lines throughout the tale' - Daily Telegraph
'Levy has a rare ability to channel the maelstrom of history into the most intimate of human dramas' - New Statesman
Andrea Levy was born in England to Jamaican parents who came to Britain in 1948. She has lived all her life in London. 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 closely and perceptively at Britain and its changing population and at the intimacies that bind British history with that of the Caribbean.
She has written four previous novels, has been a judge for the Orange Prize for Fiction, Orange Futures and the Saga Prize, and has been a recipient of an Arts Council Award. Her second novel, NEVER FAR FROM NOWHERE, was long listed for the Orange Prize, and her most recent novel, SMALL ISLAND, won the Orange Prize for Fiction, the Orange Prize for Fiction: Best of the Best, the Whitbread Novel Award, the Whitbread Book of the Year Award and the Commonwealth Writers Prize. It has now been adapted into a major BBC TV drama.