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By Andrea Levy

Finalist for the 2010 guy Booker Prize

The long island occasions e-book evaluation Notable ebook of the Year

In her follow-up to Small Island, winner of the Whitbread publication of the yr Award and the Orange Prize for Fiction, Andrea Levy once more reinvents the ancient novel. informed within the irresistibly willful and intimate voice of omit July, with a few editorial the help of her son, Thomas, The lengthy Song is right away defiant, humorous, and surprising. the kid of a box slave at the Amity sugar plantation in Jamaica, July lives along with her mom until eventually Mrs. Caroline Mortimer, a lately transplanted English widow, makes a decision to maneuver her into the good residence and rename her "Marguerite." jointly they pass though the bloody Baptist warfare and the violent and chaotic finish of slavery. a very strong tale, "The lengthy Song leaves its reader with a newly burnished appreciation for all times, love, and the pursuit of either" (The Boston Globe).

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Nimrod’s white waistcoat was once smeared with anything eco-friendly, whereas his trousers carried sooty prints from his arms. And this man’s legs have been bowed so July might nonetheless see the closed door in the back of him as he stood ahead of her. His few-few-tooth-grin attempted to muster a few kind of attraction, yet was once hindered—for whereas his one eye appeared enterprise upon her face, the opposite roamed up and down her physique and in all places it happy. yet nonetheless, it used to be a freeman who stood over her, seeming able to gobble her up. July positioned down the cup and, taking a look firmly upon the attention that had to be taught to stare, stated, ‘Bring me a few tea and be quickly. ’ Nimrod, scratching his head, frowned for the briefest moment prior to these lonely tooth once again got down to enchant. Then he bowed low. The knife, fork, spoon and blue and white plate that Nimrod laid on the finish of the eating desk for July have been put good adequate, yet nonetheless she needed to punish him. For he was once too gradual. He used to be a lifeless and indolent nigger. She took the spoon and hit it upon his head. He yelped—oh—at the pointy discomfort, then promised her he could do larger. but he didn't pull out the chair some distance sufficient for her to take a seat, nor push it in shut adequate for her to devour. ‘You are a really silly nigger and that i will see you whipped,’ July cried. And Nimrod cringed, ‘Sorry, missus,’ sooner than her. The orange upon the plate used to be now not peeled. ‘How am I to consume this? ’ July requested him. As Nimrod leant ahead to splice the fruit with a knife, July hit him once again upon the pinnacle along with her spoon. ‘You are too with regards to me, nigger,’ she advised him. And, as he jumped again from her, she yelled, ‘What approximately this fruit? Am I to peel it myself? ’ whilst he leaned over to try a moment splice, she slapped him in regards to the ear. ‘Are you disobeying me? ’ she requested him. ‘No missus,’ he acknowledged, breathless. ‘How dare you converse to me whereas i'm at my table,’ she stated, earlier than remarkable him back along with her spoon. The glass Nimrod full of purple wine overflowed, the dark-plum contents dribbling upon the desk. ‘Be cautious, nigger, that's our best wine,’ July was once pressured to yell. Nimrod fell to his knees sooner than her pleading, ‘No beat me, missus, no beat me. ’ ‘But I must,’ July acknowledged, slapping his head, ‘or you'll by no means examine. ’ Her hands, nonetheless sticky from the orange, wrapped the stem of the glass, then lifted it to her thirsty mouth. She gulped mouthfuls prior to the pungency made her splutter and cough. It was once disgusting. She had by no means tasted whatever so renk. ‘Are you poisoning me, nigger? ’ July acknowledged. Nimrod’s nervous face was once all July may possibly see via her watering eyes. She coughed time and again and back. yet then the wine steadily soothed to a heat at her throat. She licked the sticky drops from her lips. Then took one other sip that tasted a bit sweeter. after which one other. till Nimrod, inclining his head, requested her if she would favor him to pour her a few extra. and shortly July had the urge to tickle Nimrod below his chin. She leaned to snatch his little beard so she may well think these spiky hairs, yet her elbow slipped from the table—her hand clutching not anything.

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