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In the tradition of Sam Selvon’s Lonely Londoners and V.S.Naipaul’s Miguel Street, Grant's Bageye at the Wheel does for Luton and the UK what Miguel Street did for Naipaul, Port of Spain and Trinidad.

To his fellow West Indians who assemble every weekend for the all-night poker game at Mrs Knight's, he is always known as Bageye. There aren't very many black men in Luton in 1972 and most of them gather at Mrs Knight's - Summer Wear, Pioneer, Anxious, Tidy Boots - each has his nickname. Bageye already finds it a struggle to feed his family on his wage from Vauxhall Motors, but now his wife Blossom has set her heart on her sons going to private school and she will not settle for anything less.

This is the story of a feckless father seen through the eyes of his ten-year-old son. It’s a wry and gently comedy about unfulfilling day jobs and late night poker games, of illegal mini-cabs and small-scale drug-dealing. And it is also about a family struggling to belong and a vivid tale of growing up in a vanished world of 1970s suburbia.

Reviews

I loved every word

Independent

[A] vivid and bittersweet window into a vanished world of 1970s suburbia

Metro

A quietly unforgettable book

Guardian

A fabulous example of storytelling

Glasgow Herald

A classic

Spectator

Colin Grant’s memoir focuses on his feckless father…but tells the wider story of growing up black in Luton in 1970s suburbia

Antonia Charlesworth, Big Issue in the North

Piquant memoir

Benjamin Evans, Sunday Telegraph

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Formats & editions

  • Paperback

    9780099552390

    April 15, 2013

    Vintage

    288 pages

    RRP $22.99

    Online retailers

    • Abbey's Bookshop
    • Amazon
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    • QBD
    • Readings
    • Robinsons Bookshop
    Or

    Find your local bookstore at booksellers.org.au

  • Bageye at the Wheel
    Colin Grant

    EBook

    9781448182626

    April 4, 2013

    Vintage Digital

    288 pages

    Online retailers

    • iBooks
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    • eBooks
    • Google Play EBook AU
    • Kobo

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