Novelist Andrea Levy
The latest issue of Caribbean Beat features an interview with British/Jamaican author Andrea Levy on her Booker Prize-longlisted The Long Song:
"With Small Island, I was looking at my parent's generation and their immigration to Britain. And then I wanted to go further into this relationship between Britain and the Caribbean, and of course you come into slavery, and I didn't want to write a book on slavery, because I felt it would be a very difficult thing to do personally, and it's a difficult subject to write about.
"But then, I was at a conference on the legacy of slavery, where a young black woman got up and asked how could she be proud of her ancestry when her family had been slaves. She seemed to be ashamed of this, and I thought what a great shame that was, and I wanted then to tell her a story that would change her mind. So it made me want to tell that story, as opposed to being quite nervous about it."According to the piece's author David Katz, The Long Song is Levy's most complex:
"The tale Levy has conjured in The Long Song is easily her most complex to date. The plot has many unexpected twists and turns, and although she has incorporated historical events, such as the Christmas Rebellion of 1831, her heroine's voice speaks in opposition to the racist stance of some standard historical works. (The protagonist) July's narrative allows the slaves to reclaim their humanity."READ more from Caribbean Beat here.