‘I’m black, so you don’t have to be,’ Colin Grant’s Uncle Castus used to tell him. For Colin, born in Britain to Jamaican parents, things were supposed to be different. If he worked hard and became a doctor, he was told, his race would become invisible. The reality turned out to be very different.
This is a memoir told through a series of intimate intergenerational portraits: Ethlyn, disappointed by working-class life in Luton; Bageye, a small-time criminal with a violent temper; Selma, who refashions herself as an African princess; and Percy, estranged from his family through his own pride.