A brave and pioneering treatment of sexual identity in Caribbean literature, this novel, first published in 1960, follows the fortunes of Johnnie Sobert, a Jamaican exile who works in London at a club that caters to black American servicemen. In flight from his dominant, possessive mother, he immerses himself in the bohemian Soho scene and adopts a wisecracking persona as a cover for his deep-seated insecurities. Adding to Johnnie’s confusion is the fact that when he is not at work, he navigates a completely different life in Hempstead, where he lives in a bedsitter and carries on an unsatisfying affair with his white landlady, Fiona. These two worlds provide a lively portrait of Britons reacting to the growing presence of blacks and Asians in their neighbourhoods, and Johnnie takes lessons from each place.
Introduction by Thomas Glave.