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Small Island (2004)

av Andrea Levy

MedlemmarRecensionerPopularitetGenomsnittligt betygOmnämnanden
3,5791302,526 (3.88)592
Returning to England after the war Gilbert Joseph is treated very differently now that he is no longer in an RAF uniform. Joined by his wife Hortense, he rekindles a friendship with Queenie who takes in Jamaican lodgers. Can their dreams of a better life in England overcome the prejudice they face?
  1. 70
    Vita tänder av Zadie Smith (SqueakyChu)
    SqueakyChu: Both are novels about multicultutalism which consider Jamaican culture affecting England.
  2. 50
    Little Bee av Chris Cleave (whymaggiemay)
  3. 40
    Brick Lane av Monica Ali (whymaggiemay)
    whymaggiemay: Both these excellent novels examine the issues of immigration and assimilation in England, though the cultures and backgrounds are different.
  4. 20
    Bittert arv av Kiran Desai (kathrynnd)
  5. 10
    Osynlig man av Ralph Ellison (tcarter)
  6. 00
    The Same Earth av Kei Miller (alalba)
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» Se även 592 omnämnanden

engelska (128)  tyska (1)  nederländska (1)  Alla språk (130)
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From a different perspective,I related to Joseph and Hortense's experiences of being an outsider. The passage when Hortense goes to the Education authority looking for a position as a teacher so poignantly described. The world has changed since 1948 but we still have a long way to go towards making the human experience less painful. A great read throughout. ( )
  Acia | Nov 13, 2020 |
This is a warm and enjoyable book. It looks at the experience of Jamaican immigrants in the UK after the second World War - the hopes and dreams they arrive with, and the poverty and racism they find waiting. It is both funny and heartbreaking, and a real page-turner too. ( )
  AlisonSakai | Jun 28, 2020 |
Good read. Great characters. Very absorbing. ( )
  neal_ | Apr 10, 2020 |
https://nwhyte.livejournal.com/3358717.html

I liked this without being overwhelmed by it. It's a novel of the Windrush period, with flashbacks to the very recent war. Levy gives very believable voices to all of her characters, including the nasty ones (which is a rare skill.) Hortense, one of the two protagonists, has a particular wake-up call, realising that her native Jamaica is seen as a small island by the British, and also coming to realise that England itself is a much smaller place than she had dreamed of. The specific instances of racism experienced by her and her husband are vividly depicted - interesting also that the attitudes of the US forces during the war are portrayed as being much worse. Queenie, her landlady, also navigates the paths of relationships and race in a time when everything is changing. ( )
  nwhyte | Mar 27, 2020 |
I had never heard of this British author, but I took the book from the library and enjoyed reading it. It takes place right after WWII in London, when some Jamaicans who served in the British Air Force are coming to live in Britain, the Mother Country. The writing is delicious, the issues of race and colonialism are skewered nicely, and it ends with at least two surprise twists. ( )
  styraciflua | Jan 31, 2020 |
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Levy's greatest achievement in ''Small Island'' is to convey how English racism was all the more heartbreaking for its colonial victims because it involved the crushing of their ideals. Gilbert is astonished to discover that although he can reel off the names of England's canals and list the major industries of each English town, most English people can't even find Jamaica on a map. ''How come England did not know me?'' he asks. Hortense's training as a teacher counts for nothing in England, and while she may have won a prize for reciting Keats's ''Ode to a Nightingale'' at school, she can't make herself understood by a London taxi driver.

Levy understands the complex relationship between color and class. Light-skinned Hortense has been brought up as a lady, and she initially despises Gilbert for his coarser manners. She also looks down on Queenie for being less educated than she is. The slow development of Hortense's respect for her husband as she begins to understand the challenges he faces (many of which she will confront herself) is one of the most moving aspects of the book. ''Small Island'' is too thoughtful a novel to promise its characters a happy ending, but it is generous enough to offer them hope.
tillagd av kidzdoc | ändraNew York Times, Fatema Ahmed (Apr 3, 2005)
 
Small Island operates on a larger canvas than Levy's previous novels. Set in India, England and Jamaica, it is as far-reaching a work as White Teeth. Yet it is written in a plain, homely style, one that is keen for us to attend to the subtle shifts and twists that its characters undergo. Levy undercuts any assumption that race alone defines them, and is keen to highlight those symmetries and parallels in their life experiences. One can easily see it being turned into a popular drama. It's neither splashy nor experimental, but for thoughtfulness and wry humour cannot be faulted.
tillagd av kidzdoc | ändraTelegraph, Sukhdev Sandhu (Feb 24, 2004)
 
Apart from everything else, Small Island is a great read, delivering the sort of pleasure which has been the traditional stock-in-trade of a long line of English novelists. It's honest, skillful, thoughtful and important. This is Andrea Levy's big book.
tillagd av kidzdoc | ändraGuardian, Mike Phillips (Feb 14, 2004)
 
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Returning to England after the war Gilbert Joseph is treated very differently now that he is no longer in an RAF uniform. Joined by his wife Hortense, he rekindles a friendship with Queenie who takes in Jamaican lodgers. Can their dreams of a better life in England overcome the prejudice they face?

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