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The Windrush generation, in their own words - Homecoming is the first book to bring together oral testimonies of the post-war Caribbean immigrants to Britain

About the Author

Colin Grant is a historian and author of four highly praised books, including Bageye at the Wheel, a memoir about his Jamaican family. He is an Associate Fellow in the Centre for Caribbean Studies, and teaches creative non-fiction writing. He has worked as a BBC radio producer and writes for many publications, including the Guardian, Times Literary Supplement and New York Review of Books.


A remarkable oral history of black postwar British life... Homecoming is an extraordinary and compelling book in which the memories of bus drivers, civil servants, engineers, nurses, RAF and army recruits, teachers, shop stewards and seamstresses jostle with those of journalists, musicians, novelists and poets... The recovered memories in Homecoming are a formidable challenge to those still nostalgic for a lost empire, to all who cling to narrow and parochial definitions of Britishness... The voices in Homecoming sing throughout the book but they also reverberate pain, for so many are recounting stories they do not want to remember. -- Hazel V Carby * Daily Telegraph *
Grant is the writer to do justice to [the Windrush Generation's] lives... he has conducted dozens of interviews, dug into the Mass Observation archives, and combed through semi-forgotten oral histories from the 1960s to produce this anthology of submerged lives that prickles with beautiful, comic and brutal details. * Observer *
Homecoming by Colin Grant is...by turns sad, painful, warm, revelatory and utterly fascinating. I think we would live in a slightly kinder and better country if everyone read [it]. -- Mark Haddon * New Statesman *Books of the Year* *
Drawing on scores of first-hand accounts, Colin Grant offers oral history at its finest. -- Bel Mooney * Daily Mail *
Hundreds of first hand interviews, archive footage and memoir extracts of the Windrush Generation, beautifully edited into a patchwork quilt of experience and heritage. It's so powerful hearing these voices direct, making for a hopeful and angry, joyful and tear-jerking read. * Grazia *
[Grant] lets people speak for themselves... there is much to enjoy. Some of the memories are painful, some are joyous, others are much more ambivalent. -- Clive Davis * The Times *
The Windrush generation's voices are rarely heard, but Grant's anthology is informative and funny, a well-researched window into a vanished world. -- Sarah Hughes * i *
[An] impressive work of oral history. * BBC History *
Colin Grant has interviewed and collected nearly 200 voices from [the Windrush] era, from all walks of life, including policemen and fascists. It's quite a feat. -- Bernardine Evaristo * i Newspaper *
The structure of Homecoming gives its subjects space to speak for themselves, with each vignette providing a glimpse into little known history... Grant's collection of voice...exposes effectively the cruel logic of Britain's legacy of domination. -- Renni Eddo-Lodge * Guardian *
Interesting and nuanced. * Literary Review *
[A] superb oral history... Interspersed with social commentary and pages of sprightly autobiography. -- Ian Thomson * Tablet *
In Homecoming... Colin Grant collates fragments from several hundred interviews, first-hand and archival, with a cross-section of Caribbean immigrants to Britain from the 1940s and early 60s, and allows his subjects to speak for themselves in idiosyncratic statements that refuse to be co-opted into a generalized account of immigrant experience... A fascinatingly varied tapestry emerges of why people came, what they made of it when they got here, and how they related both their Caribbeanness and their blackness. -- Lloyd Bradley * Times Literary Supplement *
Homecoming is an important book which records the voice of a generation as they fade into history... here we can listen to that generation telling its story in its own words. -- Richard Hopton * Country & Town House *

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