Brixton, twenty years after the race riots. Teenager Dennis Huggins drifts into the easy, dangerous life of the shotta - or drug dealer - and discovers that, hard as the struggle for respect on the streets is, the struggle for love is harder still.
At least Dennis has involved parents looking out for him; too many of his friends drift through life with no positive influences or moral code; their only 'family' their fellow dealers. Wheatle brilliantly evokes the temptations of the thug life for young black men growing up in London's 'Dirty South' - this is a fast, compelling novel that offers no easy answers, but refuses to shy away from asking the difficult questions.
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About the Author
Alex Wheatle was born in 1963 to Jamaican parents living in London. He spent most of his childhood in a children's home, which he left at 14 to live in a hostel in Brixton. At 18, he was involved in the Brixton uprising and went to prison for 3 months. On his release, he continued to perform as a DJ and MC under the name Yardman Irie, moving in the early '90s on to the performance poetry circuit as The Brixton Bard. His second novel, East of Acre Lane, won the London New Writers Award (2000).