The Long Song: Shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize 2010
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The Long Song: Shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize 2010 : Now A Major BBC Drama

3.74 (8,993 ratings by Goodreads)
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Description

Now a major BBC TV drama, starring Tamara Lawrance, Lenny Henry and Hayley Atwell.

A Sunday Times bestseller, shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize, The Long Song by Andrea Levy is a hauntingly beautiful, heartbreaking and unputdownable novel of the last days of slavery in Jamaica, for those who loved Homegoing, The Underground Railroad, or the film 12 Years a Slave.

'A marvel of luminous storytelling' Financial Times

You do not know me yet. My son Thomas, who is publishing this book, tells me, it is customary at this place in a novel to give the reader a little taste of the story that is held within these pages. As your storyteller, I am to convey that this tale is set in Jamaica during the last turbulent years of slavery and the early years of freedom that followed.

July is a slave girl who lives upon a sugar plantation named Amity and it is her life that is the subject of this tale. She was there when the Baptist War raged in 1831, and she was present when slavery was declared no more. My son says I must convey how the story tells also of July's mama Kitty, of the negroes that worked the plantation land, of Caroline Mortimer the white woman who owned the plantation and many more persons besides - far too many for me to list here. But what befalls them all is carefully chronicled upon these pages for you to peruse.

Perhaps, my son suggests, I might write that it is a thrilling journey through that time in the company of people who lived it. All this he wishes me to pen so the reader can decide if this is a novel they might care to consider. Cha, I tell my son, what fuss-fuss. Come, let them just read it for themselves.
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Product details

  • Paperback | 432 pages
  • 196 x 130 x 32mm | 300g
  • Tinder Press
  • London, United Kingdom
  • English
  • None
  • 9780755359424
  • 84,812

Review quote

'THE LONG SONG is is told with irresistible cunning; it is captivating, mischievious and optimistic, generating new stories and plot lines throughout the tale' * Daily Telegraph * 'Bittersweet and mischievous, Levy's keenly awaited new novel is worth the wait for all fans of her SMALL ISLAND' * Daily Mail * 'Slavery is a grim subject indeed, but the wonder of Levy's writing is that she can confront such things and somehow derive deeply life-affirming entertainment from them... Levy's aim, she says, was to write a book that instilled pride in anyone with slave ancestors and THE LONG SONG, though "its load may prove to be unsettling", is surely that book' * Sunday Telegraph * 'This is a terrific book: beautifully written and imagined, and full of surprises' * A. N. Wilson, Reader's Digest * 'As well as being beautifully written THE LONG SONG is a thoroughly researched historical novel that is both powerful and heartbreaking' * Daily Express * 'Thoroughly captivating' * Guardian * 'A novel such as SMALL ISLAND is a hard act to follow, but in her new book Levy has moved into top gear... She dares to write about her subject in an entertaining way without ever trivialising it and THE LONG SONG reads with the sort of ebullient effortlessness that can only be won by hard work' * Observer * Beautifully written, intricately plotted, humorous and earthy... Those who enjoyed SMALL ISLAND will love THE LONG SONG, not just for the insights on the "wretched island", but as a marvel of luminous storytelling' * Financial Times * 'Levy brings her distinctive lightness of touch to what is otherwise unrelentingly bleak subject matter... This is a beautifully written and cleverly constructed novel that projects convincing personal relationships on to the feral backdrop of the Jamaican plantations' * The Times * 'Levy has a rare ability to channel the maelstrom of history into the most intimate of human dramas' * New Statesman * '[Levy] has painted a vivid and persuasive portrait of Jamaican slave society, a society that succeeded with bravery, style and strategic patience both to outsmart its oppressors and to plant the seeds of what is today a culture celebrated worldwide' * New York Times * 'A tumultuous tale, superbly evoked' * Woman & Home * 'Levy has slipped through the cracks of history and beautifully animated a subject about which, on a human level, we know depressingly little' * Metro * 'A vivid, sometimes brutal and incredibly absorbing story' * Good Housekeeping *
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About Andrea Levy

After she passed away on the 14th of February 2019, the Bookseller wrote: 'Andrea Levy will be remembered as a novelist who broke out of the confines assigned to her by prejudice to become a both a forerunner of Black British excellence and a great novelist by any standards.'


Born in England to Jamaican parents who came to Britain in 1948, Andrea Levy wrote the novels that she had always wanted to read as a young woman, engaging books that reflect the experiences of black Britons and at the intimacies that bind British history with that of the Caribbean. She was described by BBC News as 'a writer who tackled important social issues . . . her writing . . . witty, humane and often moving, and full of richly drawn characters'.


She was the author of six books, including SMALL ISLAND, which won the Orange Prize for Fiction, and the Whitbread book of the Year, and was adapted for TV and for the stage, by the National Theatre. It was selected by the BBC as one of its '100 Novels That Shaped Our World'. Her most recent novel, THE LONG SONG, won the Walter Scott Prize and was shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize, and was adapted for TV by the BBC.
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Rating details

8,993 ratings
3.74 out of 5 stars
5 23% (2,031)
4 40% (3,640)
3 28% (2,507)
2 7% (607)
1 2% (208)

Our customer reviews

I really loved this book and picked it as my www.ourbookclub.net.au book of the month for February 2011. For me Andrea Levy captured the senses and aspects of slavery in the Caribbean and that there are good and bad in all races. The weakness of people who have no management skills other than to beat people into submission is highlighted, but so is the work that others attempted to do but in turn was ignored by those they were trying to help. Read my full www.ourbookclub.net.au review at http://www.ourbookclub.net.au/LiteratureAndFiction2011.php#the-long-songshow more
by Tracy Hudson
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