ROSANNA AMAKA was born to African and Caribbean parents. She began writing THE BOOK OF ECHOES twenty years ago to give voice to the Brixton community in which she grew up. Her community was fast disappearing – as a result of gentrification, emigration back to the Caribbean and Africa, or simply with the passing away of the older generation. Its depiction of unimaginable pain redeemed by love and hope was also inspired by a wish to understand the impact of history on present-day lives. Rosanna Amaka lives in South London. This is her first novel.
A sweeping, uplifting story of how a boy from Brixton and a girl from Lagos escape their dark past to find themselves a bright future.
1981: England looks forward to a new decade. But on the streets of Brixton, it’s hard to hold onto your dreams, especially if you are a young black man. Racial tensions rumble, and now Michael Watson might land in jail for a crime he did not commit.
Thousands of miles away, village girl Ngozi abandons her orange stall for the chance to work as a maid. Alone in a big city, Ngozi’s fortunes turn dark and soon both her heart and hopes are shattered.
From dusty roads to gritty pavements, Ngozi and Michael’s journey towards a better life is strewn with heartache and injustice. When they finally collide, their lives will be transformed for ever.
With irresistible joy and grace, Rosanna Amaka writes of people moving between worlds, and asks how we can heal and help each other. Humming with beauty and horror, tragedy and triumph, THE BOOK OF ECHOES is a powerful debut from an authentic new voice in British fiction.