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About the book
  • Published: 3 October 2019
  • ISBN: 9781473559981
  • Imprint: Vintage Digital
  • Format: EBook
  • Pages: 320

Homecoming

Voices of the Windrush Generation




The Windrush generation, in their own words - Homecoming is the first book to bring together oral testimonies of the post-war Caribbean immigrants to Britain

** A BBC Radio 4 Book of the Week**
'Hopeful and angry, joyful and tear-jerking' Grazia
'An extraordinary and compelling book' Daily Telegraph
'Prickles with beautiful, comic and brutal details' 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.

  • Pub date: 3 October 2019
  • ISBN: 9781473559981
  • Imprint: Vintage Digital
  • Format: EBook
  • Pages: 320

About the Author

Colin Grant

Colin Grant is a historian and author of four highly praised books: Negro with a Hat: The Rise and Fall of Marcus Garvey (2008), I and I: The Natural Mystics Marley, Tosh and Wailer (2011), Bageye at the Wheel (2012), and A Smell of Burning (2016). He is an Associate Fellow in the Centre for Caribbean Studies, and teaches creative non-fiction writing, most recently for Arvon and Sierra Nevada College.

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Praise for Homecoming

“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, 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.”

Sukhdev Sandhu, Observer

“Drawing on scores of first-hand accounts, Colin Grant offers oral history at its finest.”

Bel Mooney, Daily Mail

“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

“[An] impressive work of oral history.”

BBC History

“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.”

Bernardine Evaristo, i Newspaper


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