A powerful prescient memoir of life in 1970s Britain for a child of Windrush generation parents.
'This book is a classic' Sunday Telegraph
To his fellow West Indians who assemble every weekend for the all-night poker game at Mrs Knight's, he is always known as Bageye. There aren't very many black men in Luton in 1972 and most of them gather there: Summer Wear, Pioneer, Anxious, Tidy Boots - each has his nickname. Bageye already finds it a struggle to feed his family on his wage from Vauxhall Motors, but now his wife Blossom has set her heart on her sons going to private school and she will not settle for anything less.
This is the story of a father seen through the eyes of his ten-year-old son. It’s a wry and gentle comedy about unfulfilling day jobs and late night poker games, of illegal mini-cabs and small-scale drug-dealing.
And it is also about a family struggling to belong in post-Windrush Britain and growing up in a vanished world of 1970s suburbia.
LOOK OUT FOR COLIN GRANT'S NEW BOOK: Homecoming - the first oral history of the Windrush generation
I loved every word
[A] vivid and bittersweet window into a vanished world of 1970s suburbia
A quietly unforgettable book
A fabulous example of storytelling
To celebrate the Vintage paperback edition of The Mermaid of Black Conch, we’ve gathered a list of just some of our favourite books by Caribbean authors.
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.