The Long Song by Andrea Levy
A Novel

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Synopsis

THE AUTHOR OF SMALL ISLAND TELLS THE STORY OF THE LAST TURBULENT YEARS OF SLAVERY AND THE EARLY YEARS OF FREEDOM IN NINETEENTH-CENTURY JAMAICA

Small Island introduced Andrea Levy to America and was acclaimed as "a triumph" (San Francisco Chronicle). It won both the Orange Prize and the Whitbread Book of the Year Award, and has sold over a million copies worldwide. With The Long Song, Levy once again reinvents the historical novel.

Told in the irresistibly willful and intimate voice of Miss July, with some editorial assistance from her son, Thomas, The Long Song is at once defiant, funny, and shocking. The child of a field slave on the Amity sugar plantation, July lives with her mother until Mrs. Caroline Mortimer, a recently transplanted English widow, decides to move her into the great house and rename her "Marguerite."

Resourceful and mischievous, July soon becomes indispensable to her mistress. Together they live through the bloody Baptist war, followed by the violent and chaotic end of slavery. Taught to read and write so that she can help her mistress run the business, July remains bound to the plantation despite her "freedom." It is the arrival of a young English overseer, Robert Goodwin, that will dramatically change life in the great house for both July and her mistress. Prompted and provoked by her son's persistent questioning, July's resilience and heartbreak are gradually revealed in this extraordinarily powerful story of slavery, revolution, freedom, and love.

 

About Andrea Levy

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Born in 1956 to Jamaican parents, Andrea Levy is the author of three previous novels and has received a British Arts Council Writers Award in addition to the Orange Prize and Whitbread distinctions. She lives and works in London.
 
Published April 22, 2010 by Farrar, Straus and Giroux. 352 pages
Genres: History, Literature & Fiction. Fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for The Long Song

The New York Times

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In this novel, a former slave tells Jamaica’s story, and describes the false promises of emancipation.

May 07 2010 | Read Full Review of The Long Song: A Novel

The Guardian

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The story that she wishes to tell is her own, the story of daily life with the slaves of the household, dispatches from her battles with the haughty quadroon Clara (July, as she is quick to remind us, is herself a mulatto, and rivalries over the comparative lightness of skin tone and provenance r...

Feb 05 2010 | Read Full Review of The Long Song: A Novel

The Guardian

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Andrea Levy's Small Island – her fourth novel – has had a glorious career: it not only won the Orange prize, but was voted "Best of the Best" novels ever to win that award.

Feb 06 2010 | Read Full Review of The Long Song: A Novel

BC Books

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Levy presents an epic tale of the life of one slave on Jamaica during the final years of slavery and the first years of freedom.

Mar 20 2011 | Read Full Review of The Long Song: A Novel

Examiner

In this work, Andrea Levy outlines the culture and economics that fostered plantation life as the novel progresses too.

May 13 2011 | Read Full Review of The Long Song: A Novel

The Washington Post

"The Long Song" is a novel for those who believe that the story of a single woman is a story of the ages, for those who understand that a slave woman's history is History, indeed.

May 08 2010 | Read Full Review of The Long Song: A Novel

The Independent

July moves from the fetid slave huts to the luxurious great house, where she becomes a privileged house slave.

Feb 05 2010 | Read Full Review of The Long Song: A Novel

The Telegraph

Levy’s aim, she says, was to write a book .

Jan 27 2010 | Read Full Review of The Long Song: A Novel

The Bookbag

You can read more book reviews or buy The Long Song by Andrea Levy at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Google play and .

Oct 06 2010 | Read Full Review of The Long Song: A Novel

The Sydney Morning Herald

July's ebullience and indignation, her strong sense of self and her merciless perspicacity are conveyed in a wonderfully vivid argot that is Levy's triumph: "July was unable to stop that fool-fool woman [Caroline] from gathering up her fancy skirts ...

Oct 11 2010 | Read Full Review of The Long Song: A Novel

Independent.ie

Andrea Levy will find out on Tuesday if she is the winner of the 2010 Man Booker Prize -- but the literary limelight is nothing new for London-born Levy.

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Bookmarks Magazine

The Long Song, however, strikes an altogether different tone from that of Toni Morrison’s Beloved (1987) or Marlon James’s The Book of Night Women ( 4 of 5 Stars May/June 2009).

Feb 01 2010 | Read Full Review of The Long Song: A Novel

Bookin With Sunny.

The Long Song, author Andrea Levy’s fifth book is not to be missed.

Oct 30 2011 | Read Full Review of The Long Song: A Novel

The Pacific Northwest Inlander

The book follows July through the 10-day Baptist War that ended slavery in Jamaica in July 1838 and into a three-way relationship that develops among July, Caroline, and her new abolitionist husband.

Jun 23 2010 | Read Full Review of The Long Song: A Novel

The Beachside Resident

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The Blurb

it’s the story of a life, which happens .

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So Misguided

A Canadian book blog: Publishing, marketing, books and technology from a Canadian perspective.

Mar 19 2011 | Read Full Review of The Long Song: A Novel

Reader Rating for The Long Song
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