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Minty Alley


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The only novel from the revolutionary intellectual C.L.R. James, and the first novel by a black West Indian to be published in the UK

About the Author

C.L.R. James (Author) C. L. R. James was born in Trinidad in 1901 and was one of the prominent figures in the West Indian diaspora. He was a writer, socialist and pioneering voice in literature. He wrote extensively on Caribbean history, Marxist theory, literary criticism, Western civilisation, African politics, cricket and popular culture. His works include World Revolution, The Black Jacobins, Beyond a Boundary and his only novel, Minty Alley. He died in 1989. Bernardine Evaristo (Introducer) Bernardine Evaristo, MBE, is the award-winning author of eight books of fiction and verse fiction that explore aspects of the African diaspora. Her novel Girl, Woman, Other made her the first black woman to win the Booker Prize in 2019, as well winning the Fiction Book of the Year Award at the British Book Awards in 2020, where she also won Author of the Year, and the Indie Book Award. She also became the first woman of colour and black British writer to reach No.1 in the UK paperback fiction chart in 2020.


Minty Alley provides a rich literary rendering of working-class life in colonial Trinidad . . . its rediscovery and republication is an important event * The Arts Desk *
Unforgettable . . . Groundbreaking -- Sam Jordinson * The Guardian *
[Minty Alley] is funny, gossipy and meandering . . . James uses Haynes's shy silence as a space to be filled with each characters' rich backstory, creating a historical soap opera more often relayed directly in the characters' Trinidadian vernacular * Bad Form *
In this novel, ordinary people - in this case primarily Caribbean women - display the extraordinary creativity and persistence in the face of life's challenges that's exemplary of Caribbean culture. It is near impossible to fully appreciate the artistic and political merits of James' later work without having read Minty Alley's vivid description of Trinidadian subaltern life * Philosophy Now *
A novel written nearly a hundred years ago that brings the past alive with such charm, vitality and humour -- Bernardine Evaristo
Deservedly, James's work is undergoing a revival . . . The strength and value of the ordinary man is a through line in James's diverse body of work, and nowhere is this interest more evident than in Minty Alley * Paris Review *
Light-hearted, comic, occasionally sobering, always engrossing, the novel is a lovely and captivating read -- Bernadine Evaristo
'Ground-breaking... [A] fictional masterpiece * Trinidad and Tobago Newsday *
The book should be read by everyone who wishes to learn about early Caribbean life and who would like a deeper understanding of this author of masterpieces -- Fred DAguiar

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