Galahad, one of the migrants, stands in Piccadilly Circus. “Always, from the first time he went there to see Eros and the lights, that circus have a magnet for him, that circus represent life, that circus is the beginning and the ending of the world.”
As the first literary work focusing on poor, working-class black people following the British Nationality Act 1948, Selvon’s work is a historical masterpiece. Circling around a set of Caribbean migrants, The Lonely Londoners plunges the reader into the sensory and cultural explosion that is London. The narrative voice, able to be everywhere at once, reinstates a sense of disorientation and alienation that typifies the identity of these men. The narrative resembles the predominant method of movement within the novel – the London Underground system. It’s a clever little book, exploring the depths of what it means to be British.
Set in post-WWII London, England.
Recommended by @charchorley.
Buy the book here.