'Alex Wheatle writes from a place of honesty and passion with the full knowledge and understanding that change can only happen through words and actions.’ Steve McQueen. Alex Wheatle's life is the basis for an episode of McQueen's Small Axe airing November 2020.
'Grabs your heart, not with pity but wonder that such beauty can come from such a life' The Independent
‘She wondered what kind of world she had brought her two daughters into – the tedious cycle of rural Jamaican life. No chance for them to set off upon adventures and see the outside world.’
But sisters Jenny and Hortense Rodney, descendants of the fierce Maroon people, do get to see the outside world, and Island Songs is their story. Growing up in rural Claremont, working amid the hustle and bustle, lawn parties and ‘houses of joy’ in Trenchtown, the two sisters take a chance and move to England with their husbands, that far-off land of riches, where they settle down to motherhood among the jazz cafés and bleak streets of Brixton.
A hauntingly beautifully written evocation of twentieth-century Jamaica, its history and traditions, Island Songs is an epic of love, laughter and sorely tested family loyalties. Many stories are told, but many more secrets are never revealed.
|Publisher:||Allison & Busby, Limited|
|Sold by:||Barnes & Noble|
|File size:||431 KB|
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 fourteen to live in a hostel in Brixton. At eighteen, he was involved in the Brixton uprising and went to prison for three 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).