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The Emigrants by George Lamming. New York. 1954. McGraw Hill. 282 pages. Jacket design by Denis Williams.

 

emigrants mcgraw hill 1954FROM THE PUBLISHER -

   ELIZABETH JENNINGS, writing in The Spectator, said of George Lamming's latest work: 'It is not often that a book of the power and scope of THE EMIGRANTS comes the way of the reviewer. I would say unreservedly that this is one of the finest pieces of prose literature that I have come across for a long time. ' THE EMIGRANTS begins in a sense where Mr. Lamming's first prose narrative, IN THE CASTLE OF MY SKIN, left off. The emigrants are a group of West Indians who have set out for England in a blind search for a 'better break. ' In three sections -- 'A Voyage,' 'Rooms and Residents,' and 'Another Time' -- Mr. Lamming describes their voyage over and their settlement in the mother country. He shows us the small world of the emigrants, torn loose from their native moorings, within the larger world of England. Writing lyrically and with imagination, he reveals their aspirations and doubts, their bewilderment and lonely isolation as they seek to find roots in an unfamiliar society whose complex terms elude them. Perhaps never before in recent literature has the feeling of lack of contact between human beings been so sensitively and beautifully evoked as in this book. In exploring his theme, Mr. Lamming has again made brilliant use of the richness of the English language. Combining dramatic dialogue with passages of dialect, wit, and pure poetic description, he has created a story of great poignancy and power. Above everything else THE EMIGRANTS is a Lamming George stirring statement about man's life and the human condition. To read it is to recognize that George Lamming is a writer of unusual talent, an innovator who has full command of his style and is breaking new ground in his writing.

 

GEORGE LAMMING was born of mixed African and English parentage in Barbados, British West Indies, in 1927. After leaving school he taught French and English for four years at a boarding school in Trinidad. He went to England in 1950, and for some months worked in various factories in the London area. In 1951 he began to broadcast a weekly program of reviews of books and films on the B. B. C. 's Colonial Service. His poems have been broadcast over B. B. C. and published in British and West Indian magazines. IN THE CASTLE OF MY SKIN was Mr. Lamming's first prose work.

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