Read Island Songs by Alex Wheatle Free Online
Book Title: Island Songs|
The author of the book: Alex Wheatle
Edition: Allison and Busby
Date of issue: September 1st 2006
ISBN 13: 9780749082437
Format files: PDF
The size of the: 22.64 MB
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Reader ratings: 6.7
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A beautiful evocation of twentieth-century Jamaica, its history and traditions, and equivocal status as an overlooked outpost of the dwindling British Empire, Island Songs is an epic of love, diaspora, and sorely tested family loyalties. Many stories are told, but many more secrets are never revealed. '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, descendents of the fierce Maroon people, do get to see the 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 amongst the jazz cafes and bleak streets of Brixton. 'Fire-nettle' Hortense and her husband Cilbert dream of finding prosperity through hard work in England, and eventually being able to return to Jamaica a wealthy family. Whilst Jenny, tied by the strong and complex bonds of sisterhood, follows Hortense in her travels and brings with her Jacob, her husband, who establishes the first black church in south London.
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Read information about the author‘One of the most exciting writers of the black urban experience’ The Times
Alex Alphonso Wheatle MBE (3 January 1963) is an award winning black British novelist of Jamaican heritage and has been described as one of the UK’s most exciting writers.
Wheatle spent much of his childhood in a Surrey children's home. At sixteen he was a founder member of the Crucial Rocker sound system and his DJ name was Yardman Irie. He wrote lyrics about his observations of everyday Brixton life. By 1980 Wheatle was residing in a social services hostel in Brixton, South London. He witnessed and lived through the 1981 Brixton riots, its precursors and aftermath. Wheatle was briefly incarcerated following the Brixton riots. While serving his sentence he read authors like Chester Himes, Richard Wright, C. L. R. James and John Steinbeck. He once built speaker boxes for local sound systems to help him through unemployment.
He has since been called upon to talk on the subject of the Brixton riots, most prominently in the 2006 BBC programme "Battle for Brixton". His early books are based on experiences from his life living in Brixton as a teenager and his time in social services care.
Wheatle was awarded London Arts Board New Writers Award for East of Acre Lane.
In 2008, Wheatle was awarded the MBE for services to literature in the Queen's Birthday Honours list.
He now visits schools, colleges, universities, libraries and prisons facilitating creative writing classes and performing inspiring speeches. He has also narrated an audio guide to the streets of Brixton for soundmap.
He is a member of English PEN.
Wheatle's debut novel, Brixton Rock, was adapted for the stage and performed at the Young Vic in July 2010.
He wrote and performed UPRISING, a one man play based on his own life at TARA ARTS STUDIOS, Wandsworth, London.
Wheatle lives in London.
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