Novels Project ‘Small Island’

by Andrea Levy

Chat over Chai has been invited by Portsmouth libraries to participate in a very exciting project. Over the last two weeks, we have been reading the book ‘Small Island’. Christine Lawrance has been taking us through our paces.

The first part was to look at our identities, our stories of where we came from and what we call ‘home’. Looking at how our lives have changed as more people have come to live here. What are our hopes and dreams and expectations when coming to a new place to live? 

The second part of our workshop was about exploring the issues of language and prejudices in the novel, how that makes us feel, and how we can make changes for the better.

Reading this novel has certainly challenged some of our preconceptions. It’s an important topic to explore as more and more people settle in the UK. We are really enjoying the discussions and some hilarious stories have emerged.

This is our second project for the year and it’s been great to see how well folks have engaged with the material. We have some very talented writers, I look forward to reading some of the stories.

This has been a year of hope and expectations as more and more people are getting vaccinated. We hope that we can resume our face to face gatherings. We also want to thank Portsmouth libraries for allowing us to participate.