Both devastating and funny, The Lonely Londoners is an unforgettable account of immigrant experience — and one of the great twentieth-century London novels. This Penguin Modern Classics edition includes an introduction by Susheila Nasta.
At Waterloo Station, hopeful new arrivals from the West Indies step off the boat train, ready to start afresh in 1950s London. There, homesick Moses Aloetta, who has already lived in the city for years, meets Henry ‘Sir Galahad’ Oliver and shows him the ropes. In this strange, cold and foggy city where the natives can be less than friendly at the sight of a black face, has Galahad met his Waterloo?
But the irrepressible newcomer cannot be cast down. He and all the other lonely new Londoners — from shiftless Cap to Tolroy, whose family has descended on him from Jamaica — must try to create a new life for themselves.
As pessimistic ‘old veteran’ Moses watches their attempts, they gradually learn to survive and come to love the heady excitements of London.
Samuel "Sam" Selvon (20 May 1923 – 16 April 1994) was a Trinidad-born writer, who moved to London, England, in the 1950s. His 1956 novel The Lonely Londoners is groundbreaking in its use of creolised English, or "nation language", for narrative as well as dialogue.