Homecoming: Voices of the Windrush Generation (Paperback)Colin Grant (author)
Homecoming resounds with voices both of optimism and disillusion, reflecting the complex immigrant experience of the 1950s and 1960s. Expertly constructed and brimming with compassion, Grant’s fine work is a window on a fascinating period of Britain’s recent history.
A BBC Radio 4 Book of the Week
'Prickles with beautiful, comic and brutal details' - The Observer
Homecoming draws on over a hundred first-hand interviews, archival recordings and memoirs by the women and men who came to Britain from the West Indies between the late 1940s and the early 1960s.
In their own words, we witness the transition from the optimism of the first post-war arrivals to the race riots of the late 1950s. We hear from nurses in Manchester; bus drivers in Bristol; seamstresses in Birmingham; teachers in Croydon; dockers in Cardiff; inter-racial lovers in High Wycombe, and Carnival Queens in Leeds.
These are stories of hope and regret, of triumphs and challenges, brimming with humour, anger and wisdom. Together, they reveal a rich tapestry of Caribbean British lives. Homecoming is an unforgettable portrait of a generation, which brilliantly illuminates an essential and much-misunderstood chapter of our history.
Publisher: Vintage Publishing
Number of pages: 320
Weight: 228 g
Dimensions: 200 x 130 x 22 mm
'Colin Grant has interviewed and collected nearly 200 voices from [the Windrush] era, from all walks of life, including policemen and fascists. It's quite a feat to pull together such an array of voices without producing a cacophony.' - Bernardine Evaristo, winner of the Booker Prize 2019
'A remarkable oral history of black postwar British life... Homecoming is an extraordinary and compelling book in which the memories of bus drivers, civil servants, engineers, nurses, RAF and army recruits, teachers, shop stewards and seamstresses jostle with those of journalists, musicians, novelists and poets... The recovered memories in Homecoming are a formidable challenge to those still nostalgic for a lost empire, to all who cling to narrow and parochial definitions of Britishness... The voices in Homecoming sing throughout the book but they also reverberate pain, for so many are recounting stories they do not want to remember.' - Hazel V Carby, The Daily Telegraph
'Grant is the writer to do justice to [the Windrush Generation's] lives... he has conducted dozens of interviews, dug into the Mass Observation archives, and combed through semi-forgotten oral histories from the 1960s to produce this anthology of submerged lives that prickles with beautiful, comic and brutal details.' - The Observer
'Hundreds of first hand interviews, archive footage and memoir extracts of the Windrush Generation, beautifully edited into a patchwork quilt of experience and heritage. It's so powerful hearing these voices direct, making for a hopeful and angry, joyful and tear-jerking read.' - Grazia
'[Grant] lets people speak for themselves... there is much to enjoy. Some of the memories are painful, some are joyous, others are much more ambivalent.' - Clive Davis, The Times
'The Windrush generation's voices are rarely heard, but Grant's anthology is informative and funny, a well-researched window into a vanished world.' - Sarah Hughes, i
'[An] impressive work of oral history.' - BBC History
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This is a fascinating book of interviews of men and women who came to Britain in the late 1940's to early 1960's from the West Indies - the Windrush generation.
As Commonwealth citizens, they came over to... More
“Very interesting read”
What a brilliant book. Looking at stories of people from their home town to the UK and in some cases back again. It was well written and having read The Housing Lark a few months earlier this helped to understand some... More
“Not the warmest of welcomes.”
The Windrush Generation is getting older and it's really important that its voices are heard and their stories are told. At a time when more and more people seem to want to rewrite or wipe out the past, recent... More
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