'Irreverent, spirited ... a seriously funny novel' New York Review of Books
Sitting in his cramped basement room in Brixton, Battersby dreams of money, women, a T-bone steak - and a place to call his own. So he and a group of friends decide to save up and buy a house together. But amid grasping landlords, the temptations of spending money and the less-than-welcoming attitude of the Mother Country, can this motley group of hustlers and schemers, Trinidadians and Jamaicans, men and women make their dreams a reality?
'Selvon's meticulously observed narratives of displaced Londoners' lives created a template for how to write about migrant, and postmigrant, London for countless writers who have followed in his wake, including Hanif Kureishi and Zadie Smith' Caryl Phillips
A unique and wonderful novel, comic and serious, cynical and tender-hearted ... With its surprisingly happy ending and irreverent, spirited wit, The Housing Lark goes against the grain of much postcolonial literature ... Funny, serious, innovative, multilingual, musical, The Housing Lark shows how literary expression can create community across race, gender, place, and time
Selvon's meticulously observed narratives of displaced Londoners' lives created a template for how to write about migrant, and postmigrant, London for countless writers who have followed in his wake, including Hanif Kureishi and Zadie Smith ... The Housing Lark is a a fine, and unfairly neglected, companion novel to The Lonely Londoners
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.