British author of award-winning novels about the British experience after Windrush, Andrea Levy, has died aged 62. Levy was born in 1956 to Jamaican parents who travelled to England on the Empire Windrush in 1948. Her most well known novel is Small Island which was nominated for the Booker Prize in 2010 and adapted by BBC One last year. Other famous novels that she wrote include The Long Song which was also adapted by the BBC.
Sir Lenny Henry, who played a slave in the adaptation of The Long Song said that he “loved hanging out with this pugnacious woman. She was funny, had attitude and was immensely smart”. Other tributes have flooded in, including one from the poet Benjamin Zephaniah who said: “In the future if anybody wants to have a look at how the Windrush generation arrived here and how we, the sons and daughters of the Windrush generation, survived and are surviving, they have to refer to Andrea’s work”.
Before Levy, not a lot had been written about Jamaican immigrants and their families after Windrush. Her fourth novel earned the Whitbread Book of the Year, The Orange Prize and the Commonwealth Writers’ Prize.
Click on the link below to watch an interview with Levy: