The housing lark

Sam Selvon

Book - 2020

"The humorous yet poignant novel of West Indian migrant life in London that adds an iconic voice to the growing Caribbean canon. A Penguin Classic Set in London in the 1960's, when the UK encouraged its Commonwealth citizens to emigrate as a result of the post-war labor shortage, The Housing Lark explores the Caribbean migrant experience in the "Mother Country" by following a group of friends as they attempt to buy a home together. Despite encountering a racist and predatory ...rental market, the friends scheme, often comically, to find a literal and figurative place of their own. Will these motley folks, male and female, Black and Indian, from Trinidad and Jamaica, dreamers, hustlers, and artists, be able to achieve this milestone of upward mobility? Unique and wonderful, comic and serious, cynical and tenderhearted, The Housing Lark poses the question of whether their "lark," or quixotic idea of finding a home, can ever become a reality. Kittitian-British novelist and playwright Caryl Phillips contributes a foreword, while postcolonial literature scholar Dohra Ahmad provides a contextual introduction"--

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FICTION/Selvon Sam
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Location Call Number   Status
1st Floor FICTION/Selvon Sam Due Oct 24, 2022
Series
Penguin classics.
Subjects
Genres
Humorous fiction
Published
[New York] : Penguin Books 2020.
Language
English
Physical Description
xxx, 125 pages ; 20 cm
ISBN
9780143133964
0143133969
Main Author
Sam Selvon (author)
Review by Publishers Weekly Reviews

In this vibrant comic novel from Selvon (1923–1994), set in 1960s London, readers are introduced to an eclectic cast of West Indian characters. Battersby, Gallows, Poor, Henry Calypso, and others fight to scrape out a meager life for themselves in the segregated slums of London. Living several to a room while working menial jobs, these men and women share dreams, hopes, and a need for a place of their own. Fighting an often racist and exploitative rental housing market, the motley crew decides to save for a house together. This becomes the impetus of the story as readers follow these men and women through obstacles both humorous and poignant. Can they resist temptations like gambling, smoking, and drinking to save money? Can they trust each other, and, specifically, Battersby to function as group treasurer and hold their meager savings? (They can't.) Through rich Caribbean dialects and an episodic narrative, Selvon explores issues of upward mobility and racism, and the chasm between dreams and brutal reality. This is a unique, gritty, and memorable portrait of the large Caribbean immigrant population in urban 1960s and '70s England. (Jan.) Copyright 2019 Publishers Weekly.

Review by Publisher Summary 1

"The humorous yet poignant novel of West Indian migrant life in London that adds an iconic voice to the growing Caribbean canon A Penguin Classic Set in London in the 1960's, when the UK encouraged its Commonwealth citizens to emigrate as a result of thepost-war labor shortage, The Housing Lark explores the Caribbean migrant experience in the "Mother Country" by following a group of friends as they attempt to buy a home together. Despite encountering a racist and predatory rental market, the friends scheme, often comically, to find a literal and figurative place of their own. Will these motley folks, male and female, Black and Indian, from Trinidad and Jamaica, dreamers, hustlers, and artists, be able to achieve this milestone of upward mobility? Uniqueand wonderful, comic and serious, cynical and tenderhearted, The Housing Lark poses the question of whether their "lark," or quixotic idea of finding a home, can ever become a reality. Kittitian-British novelist and playwright Caryl Phillips contributes a foreword, while postcolonial literature scholar Dohra Ahmad provides a contextual introduction"--

Review by Publisher Summary 2

The humorous yet poignant novel of West Indian migrant life in London that adds an iconic voice to the growing Caribbean canonA Penguin ClassicSet in London in the 1960's, when the UK encouraged its Commonwealth citizens to emigrate as a result of the post-war labor shortage, The Housing Lark explores the Caribbean migrant experience in the "Mother Country" by following a group of friends as they attempt to buy a home together. Despite encountering a racist and predatory rental market, the friends scheme, often comically, to find a literal and figurative place of their own. Will these motley folks, male and female, Black and Indian, from Trinidad and Jamaica, dreamers, hustlers, and artists, be able to achieve this milestone of upward mobility? Unique and wonderful, comic and serious, cynical and tenderhearted, The Housing Lark poses the question of whether their "lark," or quixotic idea of finding a home, can ever become a reality. Kittitian-British novelist and playwright Caryl Phillips contributes a foreword, while postcolonial literature scholar Dohra Ahmad provides a contextual introduction.