novelist Andrea Levy’s
Small Island was published in 2004
and has become a critically acclaimed international bestseller.
The author has drawn upon personal family experience and extensive
research to create a compelling novel that convincingly mixes
high drama, comedy, pathos, outrage and compassion.
The reader is immersed in the
period when the first black Caribbean immigrants arrived in post-war
Britain and made contact with the white resident population,
a meeting that would change the lives of all. The story shifts
between 1948, the year when the ss Empire
Windrush docked at
Tilbury in Kent carrying 492 Jamaican migrant workers – including
among them Andrea Levy’s father – and ‘Before’,
the years leading up to this significant moment in British history.
The events are seen through the eyes of four narrators, two black
and two white.
Visit Andrea Levy’s website for
biographical and bibliographical information about the author
as well as book reviews and links to articles.
On these Small Island pages you can read about the novel’s
main characters. There are also some questions to use in group
discussions or to think about when you have finished reading
the book (note: there are some potential plot spoilers among
For further information, download the Andrea
Levy and Small Island section
from the readers’ guide.
The guide also refers to incidents and characters from the book
within the sections on The Windrush
Generation and Settling In.
Andrea Levy (Headline).
Andrea Levy on launch day in Liverpool.
Levy interview with The Herald
Download here PDF
of an article by Teddy Jamieson from The
Herald Magazine, 6 January 2007.
Reproduced with permission from The
Herald (Glasgow) Newsquest
(Herald & Times) Ltd © Newsquest
Media Group Ltd.