Riot brings a group of boys face-to-face with the political turmoil of Jamaica in 1938 when the workers and nascent trade unions stood up for poor, mainly Black people and challenged the colonial order.
Andrew Salkey
ISBN number
Historical fiction
Caribbean Modern Classics
Country setting
Publication date
01 Jun 2011

‘The noise had thrown the whole market into panic. The floor-vendors and stallholders were stampeding out of the market gates at the side and front entrances. They had all abandoned their wares and their personal belongings and were screaming and shouting their way out to Cross Roads. Following close behind them, the rioters kicked over the displays and stands and show-baskets wherever they ran into them . . . ’

Gerald Manston and his friends Shifty and Fu lead pretty uneventful lives until the arrival of the ‘upheaval’. Then comes the opportunity to fight for a better way of life for the poor folk of Kingston. How can a kid resist the lure of excitement, danger and change?

This is the moving conclusion to Andrew Salkey’s quartet of children’s novels about the natural and manmade cataclysms of Jamaica.

Praise for the original 1960s quartet:

‘Strongly recommended.’ —The School Librarian

‘ . . . a cleverly constructed story of mounting tension . . . ’ —Junior Bookshelf

‘This is a fine story, a worthy successor to Hurricane . . . ’ —British Book News

Andrew salkey in June 1992

Andrew Salkey

Andrew Salkey was born in Colon, Panama in 1928 of Jamaican parents. He was brought up in Jamaica by his mother and grandparents, his father remaining in Panama, but supporting the family financially. Salkey did not meet his father until 1960, and his work returns to the theme of mothers and sons frequently. He was educated at Munro College in Jamaica, left to attend the University of London in 1952, where he did a BA in English. He taught in school and worked as a broadcaster for the BBC on the Caribbean Voices programme. He was deeply involved in the Caribbean Artists Movement. He left the UK in 1976 when he relocated to Hampshire College in Amherst. He died in 1995.
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