Literature & Stories

Samuel Selvon’s lonely London for Caribbean immigrants

Long before Zadie Smith’s White Teeth defined a second generation of British emigrants came Samuel Selvon. Born in Trinidad Selvon’s novels, beginning with 1956’s Lonely Londoner, brought to life the ‘cities within a city’ – divided by class and race.

“Because Sam has written so authentically, he has made it easier for the rest of us who want to make people talk the way they do. Sam was the first man, and I think we ought to give him credit for this, who made it possible,” said VS Naipaul.

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Samuel Selvon (left) with compatriot activist/publisher John La Rose (centre) and fellow writer, Jamaican Andrew Salkey (right).