Goodbye Andrea Levy

Last night I finished watching the BBC adaptation of The Long Song. I then read this morning that the author of the novel, Andrea Levy, had passed away at the age of 62.

The Long Song is a look at the period which ended slavery in 19th century Jamaica. Looking at the lives of slaves and the people who owned them, this is a tragic story but includes Andrea Levy’s usual light touches of humour and roundness of character which made her books so breathtaking to behold.

I fell in love with Andrea Levy’s work when reading her award winning novel Small Island. I particularly remember Hortense’s beautifully unique way of speaking and her first attempt to make Gilbert egg and chips; soft boiling the egg, which turns out to be rotten anyway, and cutting the potatoes into little bits before boiling them.

Andrea Levy had an amazing ability to take the highs and lows of life, and present them through incredibly real characters, in wonderful stories which both chronicled the lives of the Windrush generation and perfectly presented human life in a entertaining, educational and emotionally uplifting way.

She was incredibly talented and I am extremely sad that she has died.

“There are some words that once spoken will split the world in two. There would be the life before you breathed them and then the altered life after they’d been said.”


Andrea Levy’s work includes Every Light in the House Burnin′ (1994), Never Far from Nowhere (1996), Fruit of the Lemon (1999), Small Island (2004), The Long Song (2010) and Six Stories and an Essay (2014)

The TV adaption of The Long Song is still available to watch on BBC iPlayer

If you have read any of her books I would love to hear what you think and if any of the scenes were particularly memorable for you.

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