Who is Andrea Levy? | Andrea Levy Biography and Wiki
Andrea Levy was a renowned novelist from England. She was born in London to parents from Jamaica. She is best known for her prize-winning novel, Small Island.
Many of her novels explored topics relating to British Jamaicans in relation to racial, cultural and national identities.
Andrea Levy Death
She passed on on the 14th of February in 2019. At the time of death, she was 62 years old. Cause of death was cancer.
Andrea Levy Illness
Levy lived with metastatic breast cancer for 15 years.
Andrea Levy Parents
Andrea was born in Archway, London as the fourth baby of the family. She was primarily of Afro-Jamaican descent. In 1948, her father came to Britain on the HMT Empire Windrush and her mother followed later that year with a banana boat.
Andrea Levy Husband
Andrea was married to Bill Mayblin.
Andrea Levy Career
While working at a social institution in her mid-20s, she experienced racism. She worked part-time at the BBC’s and the Royal Opera House’s costume departments. Together with her husband, Bill Mayblin, she started a graphic design company. It was during this time that she had a form of awakening about her gender and race. She began to read ‘excessively’ after she became aware of the power of books. She thought of writing after she discovered the scarcity of black writers in the United Kingdom.
Andrea Levy Writing Career
Her writing career began in her mid-30’s. She enrolled in Scottish poet and novelist, Alison Fell’s Creative Writing class in 1989. The classes were situated at City Lit. She did the course for seven years.
Her first novel, a semi-autobiography, called Every Light in the House Burnin’ was published in 1994. The novel got favourable reviews. British online newspaper, The Independent, critically acclaimed the novel giving proper reviews of the book.
Her second novel was Never Far from Nowhere. It was published in 1996. The novel is a coming-of-age story that revolves around two sisters of Jamaican parentage who grow up in London between the ’60s and ’70s. It shows the different treatments of the two sisters who had different skin tones, eye colour, and even hair type. The novel was listed for the prestigious Orange Prize for Fiction Award. She visited Jamaica after the novel was published to learn her family’s past. This was her first visit to Jamaica. The visit provided her with material for her next book.
Her third novel was entitled Fruit of the Lemon. The book was published in 1999. The novel is set in England and Jamaica at the time of the late British prime minister Margaret Thatcher’s reign. The novel explores the notion of home in contrast to the formerly colonized and their descendants. The New York Times gave her a favourable review. The review stated that the novel illuminated the general situation facing children of postcolonial immigrants across the West.
Andrea Levy Small Island | Small Island Play | Small Island PDF
Her fourth novel was a critical success. The novel Small Island was published in 2004. It was called by some of her big books. The novel won a number of prestigious awards. Whitbread Book of the Year, the Orange Prize, and the Commonwealth’s Writers’ Prize are just some of the awards the novel got. Subsequently, the novel was made into a two-part TV drama of the same title. The show was broadcast by the BBC in December of 2009.
Andrea Levy The Long Song
Her fifth novel was entitled The Long Song. The book was critically acclaimed. It won the 2011 Walter Scott Prize in addition to being shortlisted for the 2010 Man Booker Prize. National British daily newspaper, The Telegraph, was not shy in its praise for the book, labelling it a ‘sensational novel’. The book tells the story of July, a slave girl who lives on a sugar plantation. The novel is set in 1830’s Jamaica just as emancipation is coming alive in the country. The novel was adapted to become a three-part BBC One TV series. The series was broadcast in December of 2018.
She had a collection of short stories that went by the name Six Stories and an Essay. The collection was published in 2014. The Independent lauded it as a slight collection that was full of important insights.
Andrea Levy Documentary Film
She was the subject of a profile in the BBC One TV series Imagine by TV executive and producer, Alan Yentob. The profile was entitled Andrea Levy: Her Island Story. It first aired in December of 2018.
Andrea Levy Books
Below is a list of her published works:
- Every Light in the House Burnin′ (1994)
- Never Far from Nowhere (1996)
- Fruit of the Lemon (1999)
- Small Island (2004)
- The Long Song (2010)
- Six Stories and an Essay (2014)
Andrea Levy Awards
Below are the awards she won due to her literary works:
- 2004: Orange Prize for Fiction, winner, Small Island
- 2004: Whitbread Book of the Year, winner, Small Island
- 2005: Commonwealth Writers Prize, winner, Small Island
- 2010: Man Booker Prize, shortlist, The Long Song
- 2011: Walter Scott Prize, winner, The Long Song