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The Long Song

by Andrea Levy

July, our mischievous and endearing narrator, takes us on a journey through the final years of slavery in Jamaica with a candour that makes this sad and disturbing story also touching, funny and heart-warming. There were moments when I was surprised, saddened, and angry –not just by the arrogance and cruelty of the white owners but also by the desperation and pride of the slaves to prove their white parentage, the result of violence and rape.

Extract

What I do know is that when those fires raged like beacons from plantation and pen; when regiments marched and militias mustered; when slaves took oaths upon the Holy Bible to fight against white people with machete, stick and gun; when the bullets sparked like deadly fireflies; and bare black feet ran nimble through grass, wood, and field - at Amity, the loudest thing your storyteller could hear was Miss Hannah gnawing upon the missus's discarded ham bone.

Parallels

The Book of Night Women by Marlon James
 

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