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The Long Song: Shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize 2010: Shortlisted for the Booker Prize

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Both a riveting look at the end of slavery in Jamaica, and a searing examination of issues relevant to today, The Long Song, adapted from Andrea Levy’s bestselling novel, is a fictional tale of endurance, passion and hope. Before its premiere Sunday, January 31, 2021 at 10pm ET on MASTERPIECE on PBS, find out about the plot and the fascinating personal history that inspired it, the talented cast, filming location, and more! Violence and brutality run through the novel and Levy opens with a serious sexual assault, from which the novel’s narrator, July, is born. Discuss how gender plays a role in the novel and its wider historical events. Do you think women were more vulnerable than men?

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The novel explores the complex dynamics between enslaved individuals and their captors. Despite the gulf between them, their lives run in parallel, tightly entwined. How does the novel depict power imbalances and the effects of oppression on both sides?


a href="https://www.pbs.org/wgbh/masterpiece/clips/the-long-song-official-trailer/">Watch a preview now! Para mí el punto fuerte de Levy como escritora es su gran capacidad para ambientar la obra de forma que los elector acabe transportado a la Jamaica del siglo XIX. Uno se encuentra en medio de una vorágine de calor sofocante que se pega a la piel, frutas exóticas de sabores poderosos, colores vibrantes y vegetación exuberante. Una vorágine en la que la en la que la dicotomía entre blancos y negros, ya no solo en lo histórico, aspecto que se nota muy cuidado y estudiado. También se siente transportado a lo que era la vida en una plantación de azúcar de la Jamaica de la época y en como era la vida en la isla, con una sociedad de negros con sus propias normas y convenciones sociales y sus propias maneras de hacer y ver las cosas. Pero sobre todo, el lector puede sentir como fueron esos últimos años de esclavitud y como se llevó acabo la emancipación de los habitantes de la isla, la forma en que estos dos mundos chocaron y se enfrentaron salvajemente entre sí, la manera en que los negros lucharon y pelearon por su libertad y por la posibilidad de ser independientes en todos los sentidos, frente a los prejuicios y la incomprensión de los blancos. Andrea Levy herself takes most of the parts involved and she was most definitely a very talented narrator as well as story teller.

The Long Song by Andrea Levy: Summary and reviews - BookBrowse

Following on from Small Island; this is another historical novel and this time Levy looks at her Jamaican roots charting the last days of slavery on the island. It is narrated by July, a former slave, and starts about 1831 the time of what was known as the Baptist revolt and goes to the end of slavery in the late 1830s. July is telling her story in old age whilst she is living with her son Thomas. The novel is the story of her early life on a plantation called Amity. Although narrated by July, it is edited by Thomas and there is a periodic interplay between the two which sometimes gives the story a slightly odd feel. Levy admits in her own notes on writing the novel to the anticipated difficulty of writing about slavery "without it turning into a harrowing tale of violence and misery". July arose from that anxiety as the answer to it. As a narrator she is unreliable, one-eyed and sometimes mendacious, which is paradoxically why we trust her version of events above the orthodox white historian's view. She is not overly interested in the historical details (though the author has clever devices to give us just as much as we need) preferring to let the story unfold for us through her experiences and her relationships. She is often self-deluded, succeeds in fooling us too at times, and we love her for it. In her fifth novel, The Long Song (2010), she explores an earlier shared history of slaves (coloured) and slave owners (mostly white) in the sugar plantations of 19th-century Jamaica.The opening episode of last night’s three-part adaptation, to be screened over consecutive nights, manages the same feat, thanks to a finely whetted script from Sarah Williams (who also adapted Levy’s Small Island for television in 2009) and some outstanding work from a first-class cast. Central to this is rising star Tamara Lawrance, who captures all of July’s ebullience and intelligence, fiercely restrained in the capricious, violent mistress’s presence but forever straining at its bounds. Over the years she learns to handle Caroline (a pitch-perfect performance from Hayley Atwell, who takes her right up to the line of real monstrousness without crossing into caricature), make a good life within its awful and motherless constraints – and then, gleefully at first, embraces the upending of that life when the Christmas Rebellion begins. There's three levels of storytelling, and sometimes four where July draws on the memories of other characters. To call this a book that tests the limits of unreliable narration would be to invoke an understatement. But memory can be self-serving, and July uses her imagination to fill in the gaps of the story-telling. She speaks of events she didn’t witness as if she was there. She is privy to facts she would never have known. So if she can do all this, how much of her own story can we actually trust to be accurate?

Long Song: A Novel - Andrea Levy - Google Books The Long Song: A Novel - Andrea Levy - Google Books

mp_sf_list_4_description: See The Long Song on MASTERPIECE on PBS in three episodes, Sundays, January 31, February 7 and 14, 2021 at a special time – 10pm ET. Watch each episode online in the general streaming window for 14 days, starting the night of the broadcast premiere. After that, enjoy The Long Song, and a selection of other MASTERPIECE shows, when you watch with PBS Passport, an added member benefit. Household slaves were better off than the field workers, who are treated with contemptuous brutality. While Levy vividly conveys the horrors of slavery, she lightens the tone as her house slave characters act out complex rivalries and exploit their owners when they can. The Long Song is a deeply moving story, but it’s not what is said that is most effective. Indeed, it’s about what isn’t said that is the most powerful and intensely thought provoking aspect of the book.mp_sf_list_0_description: Told through the eyes of July, a slave and spirited survivor, The Long Song is set in the 19th century and explores the last days of slavery in British-ruled Jamaica. The story is about injustices humans inflict on each other and the unexpected ways in which people’s humanity can overcome harsh circumstances. Levy was the daughter of mixed race parents who emigrated from the Caribbean to England in the 1960s and the interactions between the immigrant (coloured) and the host (white) cultures are the subject of all her novels. White, Peter. "Hayley Atwell & Tamara Lawrance To Star In David Heyman’s BBC Drama The Long Song". Deadline Hollywood. 12 July 2018.

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