; Literary Encyclopedia

Recommended reading for Andrea Levy

Fischer, Susan Alice.“Andrea Levy’s London Novels.” The Swarming Streets: Twentieth-Century Literary Representations of London. Ed. Lawrence Phillips. Amsterdam &Atlanta, Ga.: Rodopi, 2004. Print.

Recommended by Michael Perfect

Taking Levy's first three novels as a trilogy, Fischer's article explores the ways in which their protagonists experience public and private spaces in London as sites of contestation.

Lima, Maria Helena.“’Pivoting the Centre’: The Fiction of Andrea Levy.” Write Black, Write British: From Post-Colonial to Black British Literature. Ed. Kadija Sesay. London: Hansib, 2005. 56-85. Print.

Recommended by Michael Perfect

Published in a volume which explicitly attempts to move away from reading contemporary Black British authors within postcolonial interpretive frames, this essay offers a summary of the ways in which Levy's work has explored the complexities of Black British identity.

Levy, Andrea.“This Is My England.” The Guardian (2000): n. pag. Print.

Recommended by Michael Perfect

Published in The Guardian newspaper in 2000, this article offers both a deeply personal account of the author's attempts to research her family history as well as a forceful critique of the ways in which the legacy of Empire persists in the contemporary moment. The piece is particularly insightful when read alongside Levy's more recent novels, Fruit of the Lemon and Small Island.

Perfect, Michael.“’Fold the Paper and Pass It on’: Historical Silences and the Contrapuntal in Andrea Levy’s Fiction.” Journal of Postcolonial Writing 46 (2010): n. pag. Print.

Recommended by Michael Perfect

Over the course of her four novels to date, Andrea Levy's fiction has become increasingly concerned with historicity and increasingly polyvocal in form. While Levy is not usually taken to be a "postcolonial" writer, this article argues that it is intellectually profitable to read her work within a postcolonial interpretative frame. With reference to Edward Said's theorization of the contrapuntal, it argues that Levy's fiction can be read as approaching Britain's imperial history and, in turn, its contemporary moment is what we might usefully term a contrapuntal form. Examining each of her four novels to date but focusing in particular on the more recent works, I draw attention to formal and conceptual developments in her work, arguing that they are indicative of an attempt to understand empire and its aftermath as a series of intertwined and interdependent histories.

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