Black History Month: Reading Group

Please join us for an informal discussion of Andrea Levy's Small Island, winner of the Orange Prize for Fiction. It is a novel that faces head-on the big themes of empire, immigration, prejudice, love and war. All staff and students are welcome.

Date: Friday 26 October 2018

Time: 12:30-13:30

Location: Main Library, Training Room Fourth Floor.

The discussion will be led by Dr Rachel Webster. Please contact her r.webster@bham.ac.uk to book your place. We have twelve copies of the novel to give away, so please get in touch if you would like one.

About the novel

It is 1948, and England is recovering from a war. But at 21 Nevern Street, London, the conflict has only just begun. Queenie Bligh’s neighbours do not approve when she agrees to take in Jamaican lodgers, but Queenie doesn’t know when her husband will return, or if he will come back at all. What else can she do?

Gilbert Joseph was one of the several thousand Jamaican men who joined the RAF to fight against Hitler. Returning to England as a civilian he finds himself treated very differently. It’s desperation that makes him remember a wartime friendship with Queenie and knock at her door.

Gilbert’s wife Hortense, too, had longed to leave Jamaica and start a better life in England. But when she joins him she is shocked to find London shabby, decrepit, and far from the golden city of her dreams. Even Gilbert is not the man she thought he was.