The Housing Lark
Sam Selvon, Caryl Phillips, Dohra Ahmad
The humorous yet poignant novel of West Indian migrant life in London that adds an iconic voice to the growing Caribbean canon
A Penguin Classic
Set in London in the 1960's, when the UK encouraged its Commonwealth citizens to emigrate as a result of the post-war labor shortage, The Housing Lark explores the Caribbean migrant experience in the "Mother Country" by following a group of friends as they attempt to buy a home together. Despite encountering a racist and predatory rental market, the friends scheme, often comically, to find a literal and figurative place of their own. Will these motley folks, male and female, Black and Indian, from Trinidad and Jamaica, dreamers, hustlers, and artists, be able to achieve this milestone of upward mobility? Unique and wonderful, comic and serious, cynical and tenderhearted, The Housing Lark poses the question of whether their "lark," or quixotic idea of finding a home, can ever become a reality. Kittitian-British novelist and playwright Caryl Phillips contributes a foreword, while postcolonial literature scholar Dohra Ahmad provides a contextual introduction.