We are delighted to announce that this year’s Elthamread is Mr Loverman by Bernardine Evaristo. The book was chosen for its vivid, colourful and humorous portrayal of London life and should have broad appeal to readers of all ages and interests. Bernardine, who was a pupil at Eltham Hill School for seven years, will be coming to Eltham Library on 30 October to talk about the novel. The Elthamread will be launched at the beginning of October with various events through the month to explore ideas and themes in the book.
Mr Loverman tells the story of Barrington Jedidiah Walker, a seventy-four year old man who leads a double life. Born and bred in Antigua, Barrington has lived in Hackney since the 1960s. A flamboyant, wisecracking local character with a dapper taste in retro suits and a fondness for quoting Shakespeare, Barrington is a husband, father and grandfather. His deeply religious wife, Carmel, suspects he sleeps with other women. In fact, Barrington is secretly homosexual and in a relationship with his great childhood friend Morris. When their marriage goes into meltdown, Barrington wants to divorce Carmel and live with Morris. But after a lifetime of fear and deception, will he manage to break away?
Mr Loverman is a ground-breaking exploration of Britain's older Caribbean community which explodes cultural myths and provides lessons for us all in showing what can happen when people fear the consequences of being true to themselves.
Dawn French: Mr Loverman is 'hilarious, poignant, clever, controversial and courageous in equal measure'.
Published by Penguin in 2013, Mr Loverman is 320 pages long. RRP £8.99. It will be on sale at The Blackheath Bookshop (Waterstone’s) in Tranquil Vale, Blackheath, and at usual shops and websites. It will be available to borrow from Eltham Library.
Bernardine Evaristo is the award-winning author of eight books of fiction and verse fiction that explore aspects of the African diaspora – past, present, real and imagined - including Mr Loverman, Blonde Roots, Lara and The Emperor’s Babe.
Her other works span the genres of short stories, essays, poetry, literary criticism, stage and radio writing. Two of her novels have been adapted into BBC Radio 4 plays. She has judged many literary prizes and undertaken over 150 international trips, tours, fellowships and residencies as a writer. She is Professor of Creative Writing at Brunel University London, a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature, a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts and a Fellow of the English Association.
She was appointed an MBE in the Queens' Birthday Honours List in 2009.
Bernardine grew up in Woolwich and attended Eltham Hill Girls Grammar School for seven years in the seventies, during which time she was a member of Greenwich Young People’s Theatre. She studied theatre at the Rose Bruford College of Speech and Drama and latterly earned her doctorate in Creative Writing at Goldsmiths, University of London.
Bernardine will be talking about her book, Mr Loverman, at Eltham Library on Tuesday 30th October at 7pm.
The event will include a pop-up bookshop run by The Blackheath Bookshop (Waterstone’s).
Bernardine will answer questions and sign copies of her book.
More events to come...