When Colin Grant was growing up in Luton in the 1960s, he learned not to ask his Jamaican parents why they had emigrated to Britain. 'We're here because we're here,' his father would say. 'You have some place else to go?'
But now, seventy years after the arrival of ships such as the Windrush, this generation of pioneers are ready to tell their stories.
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: 565 g
Dimensions: 240 x 162 x 30 mm
"Grant is the writer to do justice to their [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." * Observer *
"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 *
"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 *
"[An] impressive work of oral history." * BBC History *
"[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 *