Sam Selvon

The Lonely Londoners
  • The Lonely Londoners

  • At Waterloo Station, hopeful new arrivals from the West Indies step off the boat train, ready to start afresh in 1950s London. There, homesick Moses Aloetta, who has already lived in the city for years, meets Henry 'Sir Galahad' Oliver and shows him the ropes. In this strange, cold and foggy city where the natives can be less than friendly at the sight of a black face, has Galahad met his Waterloo? But the irrepressible newcomer cannot be cast down. He and all the other lonely new Londoners - from shiftless Cap to Tolroy, whose family has descended on him from Jamaica - must try to create a new life for themselves. As pessimistic 'old veteran' Moses watches their attempts, they gradually learn to survive and come to love the heady excitements of London.

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.

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