Sam Selvon is known for The Lonely Londoners. But it is The Housing Lark in which his brilliance truly shines.
The generation of Caribbean migrants who helped rebuild post-war Britain between 1948 and 1971 have been in the news repeatedly since a 2018 scandal which saw many of them wrongly deported. Here Sara Collins, the award-winning author of The Confessions of Frannie Langton, offers a reading list of books that help define their experience.
Sam Selvon was born in San Fernando (Trinidad) in 1923 and worked in his homeland as a wireless operator and reporter. In 1950 he left Trinidad for the UK, where he established himself as a writer with A Brighter Sun (1952). Many other books followed, including his best-known novel, The Lonely Londoners (1956), and its two sequels, Moses Ascending (1975) and Moses Migrating (1983). He moved to Canada in the late 1970s and died in 1994.