Samuel Dickson Selvon, Lonely Londoners

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Sam Selvon’s The Lonely Londoners, first published by Alan Wingate in 1956, is a text frequently hailed as signalling the birth of modern black British writing. Selvon’s short fiction, now a standard text on many a university course on postcolonial Britain and black British literature, is not only ground-breaking in its representation of the life, culture and expectations of that early “Windrush generation” of West Indian migrants who came to Britain from the late-1940s; the book signals, as Caryl Phillips has noted (Nasta 2006: vi-vii), a key moment in the wider literary re-imagining of post-war Britain in the 1950s. The text stands both beside classic texts of postcolonial Britain such as Salman Rushdie’s The Satanic Verses and Hanif Kureishi’s The Buddha of Suburbia, and…

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Citation: Waters, Rob. "Lonely Londoners". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 04 October 2011 [, accessed 04 December 2023.]

33519 Lonely Londoners 3 Historical context notes are intended to give basic and preliminary information on a topic. In some cases they will be expanded into longer entries as the Literary Encyclopedia evolves.

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