Small Island by Andrea LevyHortense Joseph arrives in London from Jamaica in 1948 with her life in her suitcase, her heart broken, her resolve intact. Her husband, Gilbert Joseph, returns from the war expecting to be received as a hero, but finds his status as a black man in Britain to be second class. His white landlady, Queenie, raised as a farmers daughter, befriends Gilbert, and later Hortense, with innocence and courage, until the unexpected arrival of her husband, Bernard, who returns from combat with issues of his own to resolve.
Told in these four voices, Small Island is a courageous novel of tender emotion and sparkling wit, of crossings taken and passages lost, of shattering compassion and of reckless optimism in the face of insurmountable barriers---in short, an encapsulation of the immigrants life.
Small Island overview
Small Island by Andrea Levy
T he opening sentence of the back-cover blurb for the paperback edition of Andrea Levy's Small Island is misleading: "It is , and England is recovering from a war. The first sentence of the first chapter epitomises the narrative's gravitational pull: "It brought it all back to me. Seeing the big front door and the bell push which does not work , she remembers her boastful friend Celia, back in Jamaica: "Hortense, in England I will have a big house with a bell at the front door and I will ring the bell. In , in a grim London winter, Hortense and Gilbert meet up again, a husband and wife whose marriage has been arranged only to secure Hortense's passage to England. The novel's other two main characters are their English landlady, Queenie, and Bernard, Queenie's bigoted husband, who arrives back from wartime service to find "coons" renting rooms in his house. The conflicts between these four are the stuff of the novel — conflicts as much within the two marriages as between the Jamaican and the English characters.
An island is a body of land surrounded by water. Continent s are also surrounded by water, but because they are so big, they are not considered islands. Australia, the smallest continent, is more than three times the size of Greenland, the largest island. There are countless islands in the ocean, lakes, and rivers around the world. They vary greatly in size, climate , and the kinds of organisms that inhabit them. Many islands are quite small, covering less than half a hectare one acre. These tiny islands are often called islets.
Small Island is a prize-winning novel by British author Andrea Levy , her fourth novel. I wanted to start in with two women, one white, one black, in a house in Earls Court , but when I asked myself, 'Who are these people and how did they get here? If every writer in Britain were to write about the war years there would still be stories to be told, and none of us would have come close to what really happened. It was such an amazing schism in the middle of a century. And Caribbean people got left out of the telling of that story, so I am attempting to put them back into it.
Island , any area of land smaller than a continent and entirely surrounded by water. Islands may occur in oceans, seas, lakes, or rivers. - Travel to the National Theatre. Don't have an account?
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