Andrea Levy, the British female writer and author of The Isle of Wight, recently passed away. The “British writer” is her own special emphasis. In a documentary from the BBC, she said: “Some people say that I am a Caribbean writer. I am not, I am a black British writer with a Caribbean culture.” This positioning not only summarizes her identity, but also her creation. The source of inspiration.
Levi’s father came to the United Kingdom from Jamaica in 1948, and he was accompanied by nearly 500 Jamaican blacks. In response to the call of the British government, they came to the UK to participate in post-war reconstruction, and of course they came to this place where they called the “home country” to find a better life. The ship they took was called “Empire Windrush”, and later the generation of about 500,000 immigrants was called “the wind generation.”
Levy was born in London in 1956 and grew up in a government public housing estate. She later recalled that at home parents regard themselves as British and never talk about Jamaica. Although she is obviously black, she has a lighter skin color and has always felt psychologically white. Until adulthood, when she was asked to participate in the “White Group” or “Black Group” in an ethnic cognitive training class, she subconsciously chose the “White Group” and found that the “Black Group” colleagues were greeting her. In the past, the identity consciousness that was buried for many years suddenly awakened. This incident has brought her personal shock. When she started to create, the first three novels are autobiographical, describing how the descendants of the “Bloody Generation” born in the UK grew up in identity entanglement, how to find The story of cultural identity.
Her fourth novel, The Isle of Wight, is no longer about herself, but about the story of her parents’ generation. A couple of Jamaican newlyweds first arrived in the UK and experienced a huge psychological gap, especially the bride, Huo Tengsi, who behaved more like the British than the locals. Of course, there is the shadow of the author’s parents. When arriving at the Thames port, Levi’s father happened to be filmed in a documentary. Like other Jamaican immigrants on board, he wore a straight suit and tie. When they arrived in London, they found themselves familiar with the history of Britain’s geography, but the locals did not know or care about where Jamaica is. They thought that they were also the people of the British Empire, but they were looked at at the local shops and even asked, “When are you going back to the jungle?”
Levi’s pen is to add a pair of white couple characters in “Little Island”, which is intertwined with the story of Jamaican couples. Therefore, the novel actually has four viewpoints, which is more complete and rich in the reflection of post-war social changes in Britain. After the publication of the novel, it was highly praised and won the Whitbread Book of the Year Award, the current Costa Book Award. The award is second only to the Booker Prize in the UK, with a focus on readability.
The success and popularity of “Little Island” also helped other black writers’ work to open up the reader market. After that, she also created the novel Long Song, which was based on the abolition of slavery in the Caribbean in the mid-19th century. Both novels were adapted into TV series, but later she was plagued by illness and never published a novel.
What is amazing is that the recent “Blood Generation” has once again become a news topic. The reason is that the British Ministry of the Interior has begun to force repatriation of the “Blood Generation” in the context of tightening immigration policies, but has lived in the UK for most of its life. Caribbean immigrants. Fortunately, after the news was exposed, it caused the British public opinion to unanimously condemn this practice. After all, it is not the time when Levi’s parents first arrived in the UK.