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1 Beaverton Literature- A to Z

Fruit of the Lemon

by

Fruit of the Lemon Cover

 

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

From Andrea Levy, author of Small Island and winner of the Whitbread Book of the Year and the Best of the Best Orange Prize, comes a story of one woman and two islands.

Faith Jackson knows little about her parents' lives before they moved to England. Happy to be starting her first job in the costume department at BBC television, and to be sharing a house with friends, Faith is full of hope and expectation. But when her parents announce that they are moving "home" to Jamaica, Faith's fragile sense of her identity is threatened. Angry and perplexed as to why her parents would move to a country they so rarely mention, Faith becomes increasingly aware of the covert and public racism of her daily life, at home and at work.

At her parents' suggestion, in the hope it will help her to understand where she comes from, Faith goes to Jamaica for the first time. There she meets her Aunt Coral, whose storytelling provides Faith with ancestors, whose lives reach from Cuba and Panama to Harlem and Scotland. Branch by branch, story by story, Faith scales the family tree, and discovers her own vibrant heritage, which is far richer and wilder than she could have imagined.

Fruit of the Lemon spans countries and centuries, exploring questions of race and identity with humor and a freshness, and confirms Andrea Levy as one of our most exciting contemporary novelists.

Review:

"'Fruit of the Lemon' is the third novel by Andrea Levy, the talented British author who came to the attention of U.S. publishers after her fourth novel, 'Small Island,' won both the Whitbread and Orange prizes. Her charming 'Fruit of the Lemon' takes its title from the song 'Lemon Tree,' which laments that the beautiful tree produces a fruit 'impossible to eat.' This becomes a metaphor for the black... Washington Post Book Review (read the entire Washington Post review)

Review:

"[Levy's] novel illuminates the general situation facing all children of postcolonial immigrants across the West, from the banlieue of France to the Islamic neighborhoods of New York to the Hispanic ghettos of Los Angeles." Uzodinma Iweala, New York Times

Review:

"Faith's initial obliviousness to prejudice makes the first half of the book feel implausible; but, once the narrative moves to Jamaica, Levy's remarkable ability to weave a complex, engrossing family history takes over." New Yorker

Review:

"A somewhat abrupt ending and slightly flat secondary characters hinder but do not spoil this otherwise solid effort." Library Journal

Review:

"Levy has chosen her title shrewdly: like the lemon, her loaded satire is bright and alluring, but its bite is sharp." Booklist

Synopsis:

From Andrea Levy, author of Small Island and winner of the Whitbread Book of the Year and the Best of the Best Orange Prize, comes a story of one woman and two islands.

 

Faith Jackson knows little about her parents' lives before they moved to England. Happy to be starting her first job in the costume department at BBC television, and to be sharing a house with friends, Faith is full of hope and expectation. But when her parents announce that they are moving "home" to Jamaica, Faith's fragile sense of her identity is threatened. Angry and perplexed as to why her parents would move to a country they so rarely mention, Faith becomes increasingly aware of the covert and public racism of her daily life, at home and at work.

 

At her parents' suggestion, in the hope it will help her to understand where she comes from, Faith goes to Jamaica for the first time. There she meets her Aunt Coral, whose storytelling provides Faith with ancestors, whose lives reach from Cuba and Panama to Harlem and Scotland. Branch by branch, story by story, Faith scales the family tree, and discovers her own vibrant heritage, which is far richer and wilder than she could have imagined.

 

Fruit of the Lemon spans countries and centuries, exploring questions of race and identity with humor and a freshness, and confirms Andrea Levy as one of our most exciting contemporary novelists.

Synopsis:

From Andrea Levy, author of Small Island and winner of the Whitbread Book of the Year and the Best of the Best Orange Prize, comes a story of one woman and two islands.

 

Faith Jackson knows little about her parents' lives before they moved to England. Happy to be starting her first job in the costume department at BBC television, and to be sharing a house with friends, Faith is full of hope and expectation. But when her parents announce that they are moving "home" to Jamaica, Faith's fragile sense of her identity is threatened. Angry and perplexed as to why her parents would move to a country they so rarely mention, Faith becomes increasingly aware of the covert and public racism of her daily life, at home and at work.

 

At her parents' suggestion, in the hope it will help her to understand where she comes from, Faith goes to Jamaica for the first time. There she meets her Aunt Coral, whose storytelling provides Faith with ancestors, whose lives reach from Cuba and Panama to Harlem and Scotland. Branch by branch, story by story, Faith scales the family tree, and discovers her own vibrant heritage, which is far richer and wilder than she could have imagined.

 

Fruit of the Lemon spans countries and centuries, exploring questions of race and identity with humor and a freshness, and confirms Andrea Levy as one of our most exciting contemporary novelists.

Andrea Levy was born in 1956 to Jamaican parents. The author of four novels, she has received a British Arts Council Writers Award, and her novel Small Island won both the Whitbread Book of the Year and the Best of the Best Orange Prize. She lives and works in London.
Faith Jackson knows little about her parents' lives before they moved to England. Happy to be starting her first job in the costume department at BBC television, and to be sharing a house with friends, Faith is full of hope and expectation. But when her parents announce that they are moving "home" to Jamaica, Faith's fragile sense of her identity is threatened. Angry and perplexed as to why her parents would move to a country they so rarely mention, Faith becomes increasingly aware of the covert and public racism of her daily life, at home and at work.

 

At her parents' suggestion, in the hope it will help her to understand where she comes from, Faith goes to Jamaica for the first time. There she meets her Aunt Coral, whose storytelling provides Faith with ancestors, whose lives reach from Cuba and Panama to Harlem and Scotland. Branch by branch, story by story, Faith scales the family tree, and discovers her own vibrant heritage, which is far richer and wilder than she could have imagined.

"It is Levy's light touch in tense situationswhen a white friend's father calls a black girl 'darkie' and 'coon' in Faith's presence, when she interacts with villagers in the English countrysidethat allows us to experience rather than merely watch Faith's growing disillusionment . . . At times, you might even be tempted to read bits and pieces aloud, just to hear the lyrical quality of the Jamaican-accented English. Though Levy writes specifically about black Jamaican Britons and their struggles to be acknowledged as full members of the larger society, her novel illuminates the general situation facing all children of postcolonial immigrants across the West, from the banlieue of France to the Islamic neighborhoods of New York to the Hispanic ghettos of Los Angeles."Uzodinma Iweala, The New York Times Book Review
"It is Levy's light touch in tense situationswhen a white friend's father calls a black girl 'darkie' and 'coon' in Faith's presence, when she interacts with villagers in the English countrysidethat allows us to experience rather than merely watch Faith's growing disillusionment . . . At times, you might even be tempted to read bits and pieces aloud, just to hear the lyrical quality of the Jamaican-accented English. Though Levy writes specifically about black Jamaican Britons and their struggles to be acknowledged as full members of the larger society, her novel illuminates the general situation facing all children of postcolonial immigrants across the West, from the banlieue of France to the Islamic neighborhoods of New York to the Hispanic ghettos of Los Angeles."Uzodinma Iweala, The New York Times Book Review
 
"As an English novelist of Afro-Caribbean descent, Andrea Levy launches her works with great aplomb into the shifting seas of the concept formerly known as the British Empire. Her last novel, Small Island, won the Orange Prize, the Whitbread Prize and the Commonwealth Writers' Prize. Fruit of the Lemon, her new one, follows exceptionally well in its footsteps, a work that feels of a piece with Small Island and its story of Jamaicans in post-World War England while carving a fresh niche where new characters can breathe and grow. Faith Jackson counts herself entirely at home on English soil. Everything about it is her home, several times over: her immigrant Jamaican parents' initial council flat, where she and her older brother were born, then the 'house in a proper street that they were so proud of they sent pictures of it to relatives with invitations to come and stay' . . . [Faith] is someone who has, finally, outgrown the little girl she had buried at the bottom of her memory well, the shivering child in the playground taunted by the 'bully boys' shouting 'You're a darkie. Faith's a darkie.' She is, she now concludes, 'the bastard child of Empire and I will have my day' . . . Those are uplifting, exciting and promising words for the Faiths of our day and age, and for the others whose stories, it is hoped, Andrea Levy will go on to write."Chicago Tribune
 

"[A] charming Fruit of the Lemon takes its title from the song 'Lemon Tree,' which laments that the beautiful tree produces a fruit 'impossible to eat.' This becomes a metaphor for the black Londoner who seems to have everythingeducation, employment, social mobilitybut suffers from a bitterness just beneath the brilliant surface . . . The portion of the novel set in Jamaica is, in equal measures, engaging and frustrating. Levy unfolds Faith's family history in a series of testimonies with titles such as 'Coral's Story told to me by Coral' and 'Cecelia's Story told to me by Vincent.' These oral histories tell of a time when colonialism and slavery devastated the entire society, particular communities, family bonds and individual sanity. Always powerful, these stories are infused with a sense of humor that provides the novel with a certain buoyancy without undercutting its gravity. Take the story of blue-eyed cousin Constance, who returns from England forever changed: 'Constance called England Babylona place of sin where the evil white man livedand swore she would never return . . . Constance stopped combing her hair, sat in the sun, wiped her skin with cocoa butter. And told everyone she was letting her black inside out.' Such vivid descriptions draw us in, but Levy is soon on to the next history, full of colorful characters, sparkling dialogue and engaging predicaments. One feels like a gate-crasher at a neighbor's family reunion: The stories and characters are insightful and bubbling with emotion . . . Fruit of the Lemon, essentially a heartwarming novel of self-discovery, is peppered with incidents of real bravery and unguardedness."Tayari Jones, The Washington

About the Author

Born in 1956 to Jamaican parents, Andrea Levy is the author of three previous novels. She lives and works in London.

Product Details

ISBN:
9780312426644
Author:
Levy, Andrea
Publisher:
Picador USA
Subject:
General
Subject:
Jamaica
Subject:
General Fiction
Subject:
Domestic fiction
Subject:
Literature-A to Z
Copyright:
Edition Description:
Picador Pbk
Publication Date:
20070131
Binding:
TRADE PAPER
Grade Level:
General/trade
Language:
English
Pages:
352
Dimensions:
8.14 x 5.74 x 0.965 in

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Related Subjects


Fiction and Poetry » Literature » A to Z
Fiction and Poetry » Literature » Cultural Heritage

Fruit of the Lemon Used Trade Paper
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Product details 352 pages Picador USA - English 9780312426644 Reviews:
"Review" by , "[Levy's] novel illuminates the general situation facing all children of postcolonial immigrants across the West, from the banlieue of France to the Islamic neighborhoods of New York to the Hispanic ghettos of Los Angeles."
"Review" by , "Faith's initial obliviousness to prejudice makes the first half of the book feel implausible; but, once the narrative moves to Jamaica, Levy's remarkable ability to weave a complex, engrossing family history takes over."
"Review" by , "A somewhat abrupt ending and slightly flat secondary characters hinder but do not spoil this otherwise solid effort."
"Review" by , "Levy has chosen her title shrewdly: like the lemon, her loaded satire is bright and alluring, but its bite is sharp."
"Synopsis" by ,
From Andrea Levy, author of Small Island and winner of the Whitbread Book of the Year and the Best of the Best Orange Prize, comes a story of one woman and two islands.

 

Faith Jackson knows little about her parents' lives before they moved to England. Happy to be starting her first job in the costume department at BBC television, and to be sharing a house with friends, Faith is full of hope and expectation. But when her parents announce that they are moving "home" to Jamaica, Faith's fragile sense of her identity is threatened. Angry and perplexed as to why her parents would move to a country they so rarely mention, Faith becomes increasingly aware of the covert and public racism of her daily life, at home and at work.

 

At her parents' suggestion, in the hope it will help her to understand where she comes from, Faith goes to Jamaica for the first time. There she meets her Aunt Coral, whose storytelling provides Faith with ancestors, whose lives reach from Cuba and Panama to Harlem and Scotland. Branch by branch, story by story, Faith scales the family tree, and discovers her own vibrant heritage, which is far richer and wilder than she could have imagined.

 

Fruit of the Lemon spans countries and centuries, exploring questions of race and identity with humor and a freshness, and confirms Andrea Levy as one of our most exciting contemporary novelists.

"Synopsis" by ,
From Andrea Levy, author of Small Island and winner of the Whitbread Book of the Year and the Best of the Best Orange Prize, comes a story of one woman and two islands.

 

Faith Jackson knows little about her parents' lives before they moved to England. Happy to be starting her first job in the costume department at BBC television, and to be sharing a house with friends, Faith is full of hope and expectation. But when her parents announce that they are moving "home" to Jamaica, Faith's fragile sense of her identity is threatened. Angry and perplexed as to why her parents would move to a country they so rarely mention, Faith becomes increasingly aware of the covert and public racism of her daily life, at home and at work.

 

At her parents' suggestion, in the hope it will help her to understand where she comes from, Faith goes to Jamaica for the first time. There she meets her Aunt Coral, whose storytelling provides Faith with ancestors, whose lives reach from Cuba and Panama to Harlem and Scotland. Branch by branch, story by story, Faith scales the family tree, and discovers her own vibrant heritage, which is far richer and wilder than she could have imagined.

 

Fruit of the Lemon spans countries and centuries, exploring questions of race and identity with humor and a freshness, and confirms Andrea Levy as one of our most exciting contemporary novelists.

Andrea Levy was born in 1956 to Jamaican parents. The author of four novels, she has received a British Arts Council Writers Award, and her novel Small Island won both the Whitbread Book of the Year and the Best of the Best Orange Prize. She lives and works in London.
Faith Jackson knows little about her parents' lives before they moved to England. Happy to be starting her first job in the costume department at BBC television, and to be sharing a house with friends, Faith is full of hope and expectation. But when her parents announce that they are moving "home" to Jamaica, Faith's fragile sense of her identity is threatened. Angry and perplexed as to why her parents would move to a country they so rarely mention, Faith becomes increasingly aware of the covert and public racism of her daily life, at home and at work.

 

At her parents' suggestion, in the hope it will help her to understand where she comes from, Faith goes to Jamaica for the first time. There she meets her Aunt Coral, whose storytelling provides Faith with ancestors, whose lives reach from Cuba and Panama to Harlem and Scotland. Branch by branch, story by story, Faith scales the family tree, and discovers her own vibrant heritage, which is far richer and wilder than she could have imagined.

"It is Levy's light touch in tense situationswhen a white friend's father calls a black girl 'darkie' and 'coon' in Faith's presence, when she interacts with villagers in the English countrysidethat allows us to experience rather than merely watch Faith's growing disillusionment . . . At times, you might even be tempted to read bits and pieces aloud, just to hear the lyrical quality of the Jamaican-accented English. Though Levy writes specifically about black Jamaican Britons and their struggles to be acknowledged as full members of the larger society, her novel illuminates the general situation facing all children of postcolonial immigrants across the West, from the banlieue of France to the Islamic neighborhoods of New York to the Hispanic ghettos of Los Angeles."Uzodinma Iweala, The New York Times Book Review
"It is Levy's light touch in tense situationswhen a white friend's father calls a black girl 'darkie' and 'coon' in Faith's presence, when she interacts with villagers in the English countrysidethat allows us to experience rather than merely watch Faith's growing disillusionment . . . At times, you might even be tempted to read bits and pieces aloud, just to hear the lyrical quality of the Jamaican-accented English. Though Levy writes specifically about black Jamaican Britons and their struggles to be acknowledged as full members of the larger society, her novel illuminates the general situation facing all children of postcolonial immigrants across the West, from the banlieue of France to the Islamic neighborhoods of New York to the Hispanic ghettos of Los Angeles."Uzodinma Iweala, The New York Times Book Review
 
"As an English novelist of Afro-Caribbean descent, Andrea Levy launches her works with great aplomb into the shifting seas of the concept formerly known as the British Empire. Her last novel, Small Island, won the Orange Prize, the Whitbread Prize and the Commonwealth Writers' Prize. Fruit of the Lemon, her new one, follows exceptionally well in its footsteps, a work that feels of a piece with Small Island and its story of Jamaicans in post-World War England while carving a fresh niche where new characters can breathe and grow. Faith Jackson counts herself entirely at home on English soil. Everything about it is her home, several times over: her immigrant Jamaican parents' initial council flat, where she and her older brother were born, then the 'house in a proper street that they were so proud of they sent pictures of it to relatives with invitations to come and stay' . . . [Faith] is someone who has, finally, outgrown the little girl she had buried at the bottom of her memory well, the shivering child in the playground taunted by the 'bully boys' shouting 'You're a darkie. Faith's a darkie.' She is, she now concludes, 'the bastard child of Empire and I will have my day' . . . Those are uplifting, exciting and promising words for the Faiths of our day and age, and for the others whose stories, it is hoped, Andrea Levy will go on to write."Chicago Tribune
 

"[A] charming Fruit of the Lemon takes its title from the song 'Lemon Tree,' which laments that the beautiful tree produces a fruit 'impossible to eat.' This becomes a metaphor for the black Londoner who seems to have everythingeducation, employment, social mobilitybut suffers from a bitterness just beneath the brilliant surface . . . The portion of the novel set in Jamaica is, in equal measures, engaging and frustrating. Levy unfolds Faith's family history in a series of testimonies with titles such as 'Coral's Story told to me by Coral' and 'Cecelia's Story told to me by Vincent.' These oral histories tell of a time when colonialism and slavery devastated the entire society, particular communities, family bonds and individual sanity. Always powerful, these stories are infused with a sense of humor that provides the novel with a certain buoyancy without undercutting its gravity. Take the story of blue-eyed cousin Constance, who returns from England forever changed: 'Constance called England Babylona place of sin where the evil white man livedand swore she would never return . . . Constance stopped combing her hair, sat in the sun, wiped her skin with cocoa butter. And told everyone she was letting her black inside out.' Such vivid descriptions draw us in, but Levy is soon on to the next history, full of colorful characters, sparkling dialogue and engaging predicaments. One feels like a gate-crasher at a neighbor's family reunion: The stories and characters are insightful and bubbling with emotion . . . Fruit of the Lemon, essentially a heartwarming novel of self-discovery, is peppered with incidents of real bravery and unguardedness."Tayari Jones, The Washington

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