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The Long Song

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ISBN13: 9780374192174
ISBN10: 0374192170
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Awards

2010 Man Booker Prize Shortlist
2010 Orange Prize for Fiction Longlist

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

Small Island introduced Andrea Levy to America and was acclaimed as a triumph (San Francisco Chronicle). It won both the Orange Prize and the Whitbread Book of the Year Award, and has sold over a million copies worldwide. With The Long Song, Levy once again reinvents the historical novel.

Told in the irresistibly willful and intimate voice of Miss July, with some editorial assistance from her son, Thomas, The Long Song is at once defiant, funny, and shocking. The child of a field slave on the Amity sugar plantation, July lives with her mother until Mrs. Caroline Mortimer, a recently transplanted English widow, decides to move her into the great house and rename her Marguerite.

Resourceful and mischievous, July soon becomes indispensable to her mistress. Together they live through the bloody Baptist war, followed by the violent and chaotic end of slavery. Taught to read and write so that she can help her mistress run the business, July remains bound to the plantation despite her freedom. It is the arrival of a young English overseer, Robert Goodwin, that will dramatically change life in the great house for both July and her mistress. Prompted and provoked by her son's persistent questioning, July's resilience and heartbreak are gradually revealed in this extraordinarily powerful story of slavery, revolution, freedom, and love.

Review:

"A distinctive narrative voice and a beguiling plot distinguish Levy's fifth novel (after Orange Prize — winning Small Island). A British writer of Jamaican descent, Levy draws upon history to recall the island's slave rebellion of 1832. The unreliable narrator pretends to be telling the story of a woman called July, born as the result of a rape of a field slave, but it soon becomes obvious that the narrator is July herself. Taken as a house slave when she's eight years old, July is later seduced by the pretentiously moralistic English overseer after he marries the plantation's mistress; his clergyman father has assured him that 'a married man might do as he pleases.' Related in July's lilting patois, the narrative encompasses scenes of shocking brutality and mass carnage, but also humor, sometimes verging on farce. Levy's satiric eye registers the venomous racism of the white characters and is equally candid in relating the degrees of social snobbery around skin color among the blacks themselves, July included. Slavery destroys the humanity of everyone is Levy's subtext, while the cliffhanger ending suggests (one hopes) a sequel." Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)

Review:

In The Long Song, she 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. Fernanda Eberstadt, The New York Times Book Review

Review:

As well as providing a history of post-abolition Jamaica, The Long Song is beautifully written, intricately plotted, humorous and earthy. In patois-inflected prose, Levy conjures the greed and licentiousness of the island's sugar impresarios and heiresses as they indulge vast meals and sexual gropings--before casting Jamaica aside like a sucked orange. 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. Ian Thomson, Financial Times

Review:

Often, the difference between a good read and a great one boils down to a single element: voice. Plot, characters, subject matter and style all factor in, but without a distinctive voice, literature is flat. No worries on that score — or any other — for Andrea Levy's vibrant fifth novel, The Long Song, which follows her rich Whitbread and Orange Prize-winning Small Island. Where Small Island concerned race, class and empire among West Indian immigrants in postwar England, The Long Song is about the bloody death throes of slavery in Jamaica in the 1830s. It's a history that may be unfamiliar to American readers, but Levy's novel, narrated in 1898 by a former slave named Miss July, makes it come alive with urgency and relevance. The Long Song sings the story of July's difficult life, which she writes at the prodding of her son, Thomas, a successful printer and editor with whom she lives in Kingston. As with American slave narratives, July's saga makes clear that slavery is a tragedy for all involved, destroying everyone's humanity . . . With this fresh, pugnacious voice, Levy has us in her thrall . . . Levy, the daughter of Jamaican immigrants who grew up in working-class North London, addresses racism at its ugliest and most virulent in this intricately imagined novel, creating a world in which little can flourish. The wonder is the spirit of indomitable dignity with which she manages to infuse her tragic tale. Heller McAlpin, San Francisco Chronicle

Review:

Andrea Levy's insightful and inspired fifth novel, The Long Song, reminds us that she is one of the best historical novelists of her generation. By employing a charming metafictional conceit - -a printer is publishing the memoir of his mother, July — we witness the extraordinary life of a woman who lived as a slave in Jamaica during the 19th century . . . Levy's previous novel, Small Island, is rightly regarded as a masterpiece, and with The Long Song she has returned to the level of storytelling that earned her the Orange Prize in 2004 . . . One of the most complex and revealing moments in The Long Song is the dinner party in which the servants are told to prepare an English-style Christmas feast, though few of the menu items are available . . . The Long Song is a novel for those who believe that the story of a single woman is a story of the ages, for those who understand that a slave woman's history is History, indeed. Tayari Jones, The Washington Post

Review:

There is great skill in the way Levy presents characters and dialogue; she has powers of observation and an ear for language that make her books a pleasure to read. The Times Literary Supplement

Review:

As a story of suffering, indomitability and perseverance, it is thoroughly captivating. Alex Clark, The Guardian (UK)

Synopsis:

Finalist for the 2010 Man Booker Prize

The New York Times Book Review Notable Book of the Year

In her follow-up to Small Island, winner of the Whitbread Book of the Year Award and the Orange Prize for Fiction, Andrea Levy once again reinvents the historical novel. Told in the irresistibly willful and intimate voice of Miss July, with some editorial assistance from her son, Thomas, The Long Song is at once defiant, funny, and shocking. The child of a field slave on the Amity sugar plantation in Jamaica, July lives with her mother until Mrs. Caroline Mortimer, a recently transplanted English widow, decides to move her into the great house and rename her “Marguerite.” Together they live through the bloody Baptist War and the violent and chaotic end of slavery. An extraordinarily powerful story, “The Long Song leaves its reader with a newly burnished appreciation for life, love, and the pursuit of both” (The Boston Globe).

Synopsis:

THE AUTHOR OF SMALL ISLAND TELLS THE STORY OF THE LAST TURBULENT YEARS OF SLAVERY AND THE EARLY YEARS OF FREEDOM IN NINETEENTH-CENTURY JAMAICA

Small Island introduced Andrea Levy to America and was acclaimed as “a triumph” (San Francisco Chronicle). It won both the Orange Prize and the Whitbread Book of the Year Award, and has sold over a million copies worldwide. With The Long Song, Levy once again reinvents the historical novel.

Told in the irresistibly willful and intimate voice of Miss July, with some editorial assistance from her son, Thomas, The Long Song is at once defiant, funny, and shocking. The child of a field slave on the Amity sugar plantation, July lives with her mother until Mrs. Caroline Mortimer, a recently transplanted English widow, decides to move her into the great house and rename her “Marguerite.”

Resourceful and mischievous, July soon becomes indispensable to her mistress. Together they live through the bloody Baptist war, followed by the violent and chaotic end of slavery. Taught to read and write so that she can help her mistress run the business, July remains bound to the plantation despite her “freedom.” It is the arrival of a young English overseer, Robert Goodwin, that will dramatically change life in the great house for both July and her mistress. Prompted and provoked by her sons persistent questioning, Julys resilience and heartbreak are gradually revealed in this extraordinarily powerful story of slavery, revolution, freedom, and love.

Andrea Levy was born in England to Jamaican parents. Her fourth novel, Small Island, won both the Whitbread Book of the Year Award and the Orange Prize for Fiction: Best of the Best. She lives in London.

Longlisted for the Orange Prize for Fiction

Longlisted for the Man Booker Prize

Andrea Levy reinvents the historical novel with her novel The Long Song, a tale of slavery and freedom in colonial Jamaica. Told in the irresistibly willful and intimate voice of Miss July, with some editorial assistance from her son, Thomas, The Long Song is at once defiant, funny, and shocking. The child of a field slave on the Amity sugar plantation, July lives with her mother until Mrs. Caroline Mortimer, a recently transplanted English widow, decides to move her into the great house and rename her “Marguerite.”

Resourceful and mischievous, July soon becomes indispensable to her mistress. Together they live through the bloody Baptist war, followed by the violent and chaotic end of slavery. Taught to read and write so that she can help her mistress run the business, July remains bound to the plantation despite her “freedom.” It is the arrival of a young English overseer, Robert Goodwin, that will dramatically change life in the great house for both July and her mistress. Prompted and provoked by her sons persistent questioning, Julys resilience and heartbreak are gradually revealed in this extraordinarily powerful story of slavery, revolution, freedom, and love.

"When you add Levys almost Dickensian gifts for dialogue and storytelling to her humorous detachment, her ability to see race hatred as yet another twist of the English class system, its easy to understand why she has become something of a celebrity in Britain. In The Long Song, Levy turns her attention to the final days of slavery in ­early-19th-century Jamaica. Packaged with a preface and an afterword purporting to have been written by Mr. Thomas Kinsman, a well-to-do black printer living in Jamaica in 1898, and occasionally punctuated by editorial suggestions from that long-suffering man, the novel is presented as the memoirs of his octogenarian mother, Miss July, who was born into slavery on a sugar plantation known as Amity . . . In The Long Song, she 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."—Fernanda Eberstadt, The New York Times Book Review
 
“As well as providing a history of post-abolition Jamaica, The Long Song is beautifully written, intricately plotted, humorous and earthy. In patois-inflected prose, Levy conjures the greed and licentiousness of the islands sugar impresarios and heiresses as they indulge vast meals and sexual gropings—before casting Jamaica aside like a sucked orange. 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.” Ian Thomson, Financial Times
 
"Often, the difference between a good read and a great one boils down to a single element: voice. Plot, characters, subject matter and style all factor in, but without a distinctive voice, literature is flat. No worries on that score - or any other—for Andrea Levy's vibrant fifth novel, The Long Song, which follows her rich Whitbread and Orange Prize-winning Small Island. Where Small Island concerned race, class and empire among West Indian immigrants in postwar England, The Long Song is about the bloody death throes of slavery in Jamaica in the 1830s. It's a history that may be unfamiliar to American readers, but Levy's novel, narrated in 1898 by a former slave named Miss July, makes it come alive with urgency and relevance. The Long Song sings the story of July's difficult life, which she writes at the prodding of her son, Thomas, a successful printer and editor with whom she lives in Kingston. As with American slave narratives, July's saga makes clear that slavery is a tragedy for all involved, destroying everyone's humanity . . . With this fresh, pugnacious voice, Levy has us in her thrall . . . Levy, the daughter of Jamaican immigrants who grew up in working-class North London, addresses racism at its ugliest and most virulent in this intricately imagined novel, creating a world in which little can flourish. The wonder is the spirit of indomitable dignity with which she manages to infuse her tragic tale."—Heller McAlpin, San Francisco Chronicle
 
"Andrea Levy's insightful and inspired fifth novel, The Long Song, reminds us that she is one of the best historical novelists of her generation. By employing a charming metafictional conceit—a printer is publishing the memoir of his mother, July—we witness the extraordinary life of a woman who lived as a slave in Jamaica during the 19th century . . . Levy's previous novel, Small Island, is rightly regarded as a masterpiece, and with The Long Song she has returned to the level of storytelling that earned her the Orange Prize in 2004 . . . One of the most complex and revealing moments in The Long Song is the dinner party in which the servants are told to prepare an English-style Christmas feast, though few of the menu items are available . . . The Long Song is a novel for those who believe that the story of a single woman is a story of the ages, for those who understand that a slave woman's history is History, indeed."—Tayari Jones, The Washington Post
 
“This is a terrific book: beautifully written and imagined, and full of surprises . . . A brilliant historical novel.” —A. N. Wilson, Readers Digest
 
"There is great skill in the way [Levy] presents characters and dialogue; she has powers of observation and an ear for language that make her books a pleasure to read."—The Times Literary Supplement
 
The Long Song is above all the female version of emancipation, told in vivid, vigorous language in which comedy, contempt and a fierce poetry are at work . . . For all that this is supposed to be the autobiography of a woman with ‘little ink, edited by her anxious, seemly son, The Long Song is told with irresistible cunning; it is captivating, mischievous and optimistic, generating new stories and plot lines throughout the tale. July is one of Levys stubborn women who inspire both irritation and admiration. She is a splendid creation, whose wit, pride and resilience sweeten a tale that would otherwise make her white readers hang their heads in shame.” —Amanda Craig, The Daily Telegraph
 
“As a story of suffering, indomitability and perseverance, it is thoroughly captivating.” —Alex Clark, The Guardian (UK)
 
"Levy gives us a new, urgent take on our past."—Vogue
 
“An elegant allegory of storytelling . . . A subtly observed, beautifully written, structurally complex novel—an impressive follow-up to Small Island.” —Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

“In the inexplicable absence of a definitive and revelatory history of Jamaicas nearly 300 years of slavery, Levy gamely steps into the void with this lively and engaging novel . . . Charming, alarming, Levys vibrant historical novel shimmers with all of the artifice and chicanery slave owners felt compelled to exert.”—Booklist

About the Author

Andrea Levy was born in England to Jamaican parents. Her fourth novel, Small Island, won both the Whitbread Book of the Year Award and the Orange Prize for Fiction: Best of the Best. She lives in London.

What Our Readers Are Saying

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Average customer rating based on 1 comment:

CYNTHIA LACEY, September 17, 2010 (view all comments by CYNTHIA LACEY)
I am looking forward to reading this book. I have followed Ms. Levy's writing since I first discovered her writing several years ago. I also "turned on" a friend who is also British born of Jamaican descent to Levy's novels and she frequently comments that Levy appears to be writing about her own family, such is the versimulatude of the language.
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Product Details

ISBN:
9780374192174
Subtitle:
A Novel
Author:
Levy, Andrea
Publisher:
Picador
Subject:
Slavery
Subject:
Jamaica History 19th century.
Subject:
Literary
Subject:
African American - Historical
Subject:
Literature-A to Z
Subject:
Historical
Edition Description:
Trade paper
Publication Date:
20110426
Binding:
Electronic book text in proprietary or open standard format
Grade Level:
General/trade
Language:
English
Pages:
352
Dimensions:
9.00 x 6.00 in

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The Long Song Sale Hardcover
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$7.98 In Stock
Product details 352 pages Farrar Straus Giroux - English 9780374192174 Reviews:
"Publishers Weekly Review" by , "A distinctive narrative voice and a beguiling plot distinguish Levy's fifth novel (after Orange Prize — winning Small Island). A British writer of Jamaican descent, Levy draws upon history to recall the island's slave rebellion of 1832. The unreliable narrator pretends to be telling the story of a woman called July, born as the result of a rape of a field slave, but it soon becomes obvious that the narrator is July herself. Taken as a house slave when she's eight years old, July is later seduced by the pretentiously moralistic English overseer after he marries the plantation's mistress; his clergyman father has assured him that 'a married man might do as he pleases.' Related in July's lilting patois, the narrative encompasses scenes of shocking brutality and mass carnage, but also humor, sometimes verging on farce. Levy's satiric eye registers the venomous racism of the white characters and is equally candid in relating the degrees of social snobbery around skin color among the blacks themselves, July included. Slavery destroys the humanity of everyone is Levy's subtext, while the cliffhanger ending suggests (one hopes) a sequel." Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"Review" by , In The Long Song, she 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.
"Review" by , As well as providing a history of post-abolition Jamaica, The Long Song is beautifully written, intricately plotted, humorous and earthy. In patois-inflected prose, Levy conjures the greed and licentiousness of the island's sugar impresarios and heiresses as they indulge vast meals and sexual gropings--before casting Jamaica aside like a sucked orange. 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.
"Review" by , Often, the difference between a good read and a great one boils down to a single element: voice. Plot, characters, subject matter and style all factor in, but without a distinctive voice, literature is flat. No worries on that score — or any other — for Andrea Levy's vibrant fifth novel, The Long Song, which follows her rich Whitbread and Orange Prize-winning Small Island. Where Small Island concerned race, class and empire among West Indian immigrants in postwar England, The Long Song is about the bloody death throes of slavery in Jamaica in the 1830s. It's a history that may be unfamiliar to American readers, but Levy's novel, narrated in 1898 by a former slave named Miss July, makes it come alive with urgency and relevance. The Long Song sings the story of July's difficult life, which she writes at the prodding of her son, Thomas, a successful printer and editor with whom she lives in Kingston. As with American slave narratives, July's saga makes clear that slavery is a tragedy for all involved, destroying everyone's humanity . . . With this fresh, pugnacious voice, Levy has us in her thrall . . . Levy, the daughter of Jamaican immigrants who grew up in working-class North London, addresses racism at its ugliest and most virulent in this intricately imagined novel, creating a world in which little can flourish. The wonder is the spirit of indomitable dignity with which she manages to infuse her tragic tale.
"Review" by , Andrea Levy's insightful and inspired fifth novel, The Long Song, reminds us that she is one of the best historical novelists of her generation. By employing a charming metafictional conceit - -a printer is publishing the memoir of his mother, July — we witness the extraordinary life of a woman who lived as a slave in Jamaica during the 19th century . . . Levy's previous novel, Small Island, is rightly regarded as a masterpiece, and with The Long Song she has returned to the level of storytelling that earned her the Orange Prize in 2004 . . . One of the most complex and revealing moments in The Long Song is the dinner party in which the servants are told to prepare an English-style Christmas feast, though few of the menu items are available . . . The Long Song is a novel for those who believe that the story of a single woman is a story of the ages, for those who understand that a slave woman's history is History, indeed.
"Review" by , There is great skill in the way Levy presents characters and dialogue; she has powers of observation and an ear for language that make her books a pleasure to read.
"Review" by , As a story of suffering, indomitability and perseverance, it is thoroughly captivating.
"Synopsis" by ,

Finalist for the 2010 Man Booker Prize

The New York Times Book Review Notable Book of the Year

In her follow-up to Small Island, winner of the Whitbread Book of the Year Award and the Orange Prize for Fiction, Andrea Levy once again reinvents the historical novel. Told in the irresistibly willful and intimate voice of Miss July, with some editorial assistance from her son, Thomas, The Long Song is at once defiant, funny, and shocking. The child of a field slave on the Amity sugar plantation in Jamaica, July lives with her mother until Mrs. Caroline Mortimer, a recently transplanted English widow, decides to move her into the great house and rename her “Marguerite.” Together they live through the bloody Baptist War and the violent and chaotic end of slavery. An extraordinarily powerful story, “The Long Song leaves its reader with a newly burnished appreciation for life, love, and the pursuit of both” (The Boston Globe).

"Synopsis" by ,

THE AUTHOR OF SMALL ISLAND TELLS THE STORY OF THE LAST TURBULENT YEARS OF SLAVERY AND THE EARLY YEARS OF FREEDOM IN NINETEENTH-CENTURY JAMAICA

Small Island introduced Andrea Levy to America and was acclaimed as “a triumph” (San Francisco Chronicle). It won both the Orange Prize and the Whitbread Book of the Year Award, and has sold over a million copies worldwide. With The Long Song, Levy once again reinvents the historical novel.

Told in the irresistibly willful and intimate voice of Miss July, with some editorial assistance from her son, Thomas, The Long Song is at once defiant, funny, and shocking. The child of a field slave on the Amity sugar plantation, July lives with her mother until Mrs. Caroline Mortimer, a recently transplanted English widow, decides to move her into the great house and rename her “Marguerite.”

Resourceful and mischievous, July soon becomes indispensable to her mistress. Together they live through the bloody Baptist war, followed by the violent and chaotic end of slavery. Taught to read and write so that she can help her mistress run the business, July remains bound to the plantation despite her “freedom.” It is the arrival of a young English overseer, Robert Goodwin, that will dramatically change life in the great house for both July and her mistress. Prompted and provoked by her sons persistent questioning, Julys resilience and heartbreak are gradually revealed in this extraordinarily powerful story of slavery, revolution, freedom, and love.

Andrea Levy was born in England to Jamaican parents. Her fourth novel, Small Island, won both the Whitbread Book of the Year Award and the Orange Prize for Fiction: Best of the Best. She lives in London.

Longlisted for the Orange Prize for Fiction

Longlisted for the Man Booker Prize

Andrea Levy reinvents the historical novel with her novel The Long Song, a tale of slavery and freedom in colonial Jamaica. Told in the irresistibly willful and intimate voice of Miss July, with some editorial assistance from her son, Thomas, The Long Song is at once defiant, funny, and shocking. The child of a field slave on the Amity sugar plantation, July lives with her mother until Mrs. Caroline Mortimer, a recently transplanted English widow, decides to move her into the great house and rename her “Marguerite.”

Resourceful and mischievous, July soon becomes indispensable to her mistress. Together they live through the bloody Baptist war, followed by the violent and chaotic end of slavery. Taught to read and write so that she can help her mistress run the business, July remains bound to the plantation despite her “freedom.” It is the arrival of a young English overseer, Robert Goodwin, that will dramatically change life in the great house for both July and her mistress. Prompted and provoked by her sons persistent questioning, Julys resilience and heartbreak are gradually revealed in this extraordinarily powerful story of slavery, revolution, freedom, and love.

"When you add Levys almost Dickensian gifts for dialogue and storytelling to her humorous detachment, her ability to see race hatred as yet another twist of the English class system, its easy to understand why she has become something of a celebrity in Britain. In The Long Song, Levy turns her attention to the final days of slavery in ­early-19th-century Jamaica. Packaged with a preface and an afterword purporting to have been written by Mr. Thomas Kinsman, a well-to-do black printer living in Jamaica in 1898, and occasionally punctuated by editorial suggestions from that long-suffering man, the novel is presented as the memoirs of his octogenarian mother, Miss July, who was born into slavery on a sugar plantation known as Amity . . . In The Long Song, she 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."—Fernanda Eberstadt, The New York Times Book Review
 
“As well as providing a history of post-abolition Jamaica, The Long Song is beautifully written, intricately plotted, humorous and earthy. In patois-inflected prose, Levy conjures the greed and licentiousness of the islands sugar impresarios and heiresses as they indulge vast meals and sexual gropings—before casting Jamaica aside like a sucked orange. 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.” Ian Thomson, Financial Times
 
"Often, the difference between a good read and a great one boils down to a single element: voice. Plot, characters, subject matter and style all factor in, but without a distinctive voice, literature is flat. No worries on that score - or any other—for Andrea Levy's vibrant fifth novel, The Long Song, which follows her rich Whitbread and Orange Prize-winning Small Island. Where Small Island concerned race, class and empire among West Indian immigrants in postwar England, The Long Song is about the bloody death throes of slavery in Jamaica in the 1830s. It's a history that may be unfamiliar to American readers, but Levy's novel, narrated in 1898 by a former slave named Miss July, makes it come alive with urgency and relevance. The Long Song sings the story of July's difficult life, which she writes at the prodding of her son, Thomas, a successful printer and editor with whom she lives in Kingston. As with American slave narratives, July's saga makes clear that slavery is a tragedy for all involved, destroying everyone's humanity . . . With this fresh, pugnacious voice, Levy has us in her thrall . . . Levy, the daughter of Jamaican immigrants who grew up in working-class North London, addresses racism at its ugliest and most virulent in this intricately imagined novel, creating a world in which little can flourish. The wonder is the spirit of indomitable dignity with which she manages to infuse her tragic tale."—Heller McAlpin, San Francisco Chronicle
 
"Andrea Levy's insightful and inspired fifth novel, The Long Song, reminds us that she is one of the best historical novelists of her generation. By employing a charming metafictional conceit—a printer is publishing the memoir of his mother, July—we witness the extraordinary life of a woman who lived as a slave in Jamaica during the 19th century . . . Levy's previous novel, Small Island, is rightly regarded as a masterpiece, and with The Long Song she has returned to the level of storytelling that earned her the Orange Prize in 2004 . . . One of the most complex and revealing moments in The Long Song is the dinner party in which the servants are told to prepare an English-style Christmas feast, though few of the menu items are available . . . The Long Song is a novel for those who believe that the story of a single woman is a story of the ages, for those who understand that a slave woman's history is History, indeed."—Tayari Jones, The Washington Post
 
“This is a terrific book: beautifully written and imagined, and full of surprises . . . A brilliant historical novel.” —A. N. Wilson, Readers Digest
 
"There is great skill in the way [Levy] presents characters and dialogue; she has powers of observation and an ear for language that make her books a pleasure to read."—The Times Literary Supplement
 
The Long Song is above all the female version of emancipation, told in vivid, vigorous language in which comedy, contempt and a fierce poetry are at work . . . For all that this is supposed to be the autobiography of a woman with ‘little ink, edited by her anxious, seemly son, The Long Song is told with irresistible cunning; it is captivating, mischievous and optimistic, generating new stories and plot lines throughout the tale. July is one of Levys stubborn women who inspire both irritation and admiration. She is a splendid creation, whose wit, pride and resilience sweeten a tale that would otherwise make her white readers hang their heads in shame.” —Amanda Craig, The Daily Telegraph
 
“As a story of suffering, indomitability and perseverance, it is thoroughly captivating.” —Alex Clark, The Guardian (UK)
 
"Levy gives us a new, urgent take on our past."—Vogue
 
“An elegant allegory of storytelling . . . A subtly observed, beautifully written, structurally complex novel—an impressive follow-up to Small Island.” —Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

“In the inexplicable absence of a definitive and revelatory history of Jamaicas nearly 300 years of slavery, Levy gamely steps into the void with this lively and engaging novel . . . Charming, alarming, Levys vibrant historical novel shimmers with all of the artifice and chicanery slave owners felt compelled to exert.”—Booklist

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