Book review: Sugar in the Blood, By Andrea Stuart
Boyd Tonkin is Senior Writer and a columnist at The Independent. An award-winning journalist, he was formerly Literary Editor at The Independent, and before that Social Policy Editor and then Books Editor at the New Statesman magazine. He has broadcast extensively for BBC arts and current affairs programmes and has judged the Booker Prize, the Whitbread biography award, the Commonwealth Writers Prize and the David Cohen Prize. In 2001, he re-founded the Independent Foreign Fiction Prize for literature in translation, and serves on its judging panel every year.
Friday 28 June 2013
Andrea Stuart can trace one part of her Barbadian family back to George Ashby, a blacksmith who left England in the 1630s. The semi-documented misery of slavery hides another.
Out of four centuries of assymetrical pasts, she fashions a rich family memoir that also serves as a vivid history of Caribbean slavery, and a moving account of migration.
"Mixed-race on both sides, blending the histories of both oppressor and oppressed", the Ashbys and Stuarts experience on, and under, the skin this "epic movement of people".
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