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  • Virago

Black Orchids

Gillian Slovo

4 Reviews

Rated 0

Fiction, Modern & contemporary fiction (post c 1945), Crosswords

From the author of ICE ROAD, shortlisted for the Orange Prize, comes a love story that cuts across race and culture

When the genteely impoverished and rebellious Evelyn marries the charming Emil, scion of a privileged Sinhalese family, she thinks that her dream of a life in England can now at last come true. So the family travel, with their young son Milton, from Ceylon to Tilbury Docks. But this is England in the 1950s and, no matter how hard Evelyn wishes that it would, England does not take kindly to strangers, especially families who are half black and half white.

A profound and moving novel, this is the story about the search to feel at home in your own skin.

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Praise for Black Orchids

  • Evelyn, Emil and the children, particularly the boy, Milton, endure a great deal of Englishness, the effortless and understated nastiness that Slovo captures superbly. What we end with is a novel about exile, about homelessness, about identity and loss. These are strong, poignant themes - The Australian

  • Slovo convincingly relays the sense of otherness - Sun Herald

  • Black Orchids invokes cross-racial tensions and connections subtely woven into a story that leaves the reader with a startling awareness of a time when individuals pushed back at pressures and toplled the system. A five-star novel - Australian Country Style

  • 'It's a compelling book, a thoughtful and beautifully written journey to an exotic time and place.' - Sydney Sunday Telegraph

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Gillian Slovo

Gillian Slovo (father Joe Slovo, mother Ruth First) was educated in Britain where she has spent all her adult life. Since Nelson Mandela's release she has made frequent visits to South Africa. She has written seven books.

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