Andrea Levy’s bittersweet novel about the last days of slavery in Jamaica is powerful and intimate - and full of mischievous surprise.

Set during the turbulent years of slavery and the early years of freedom that followed, The Long Song is a thrilling journey through that time in the company of people who lived it. Based on the lives of the people who live and work on the Amity sugar plantation, the narrative centres around July, a slave girl with an indomitable spirit for survival.

The Man Booker Prize 2010
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Andrea Levy

Andrea Levy

About the Author

Andrea Levy was the author of six books, including Small Island, which won the Orange Prize for Fiction, and the Whitbread book of the Year
More about Andrea Levy

Slowly I began to realise that I was not in fact writing a novel about slavery. The Long Song is set in the time of slavery, and the years immediately after, but it is really a story about a person’s life, a lost voice from history that needed to be heard.

— Andrea Levy writing on the inspiration behind The Long Song

The Long Song is a novel for those who believe that the story of a single woman is a story of the ages, for those who understand that a slave woman’s history is History, indeed.

— Tayari Jones reviewing The Long Song for The Washington Post in 2010

Watch the trailer for the BBC adaption of The Long Song

Listen to Andrea Levy read an extract from the novel for Pen America

I wanted there to be joy in this book, fun, as well. I had to tread a fine line. It was never going to be ‘Carry On up the Plantation’, but also I didn’t want it to be just so harrowing that nobody could read it. I wanted a book that everyone could read and everyone could enjoy.

— Andrea Levy speaks to The Scotsman in 2010 after publication of The Long Song