This searing record of a writer's journey offers much more: A history of the reggae revolution in bass riddim. A raw account of racism in Britain. A prose that is Wheatle at his best-gritty, fast-paced, salty, funny, restrained, a tightrope walker's balance. For me, a Black writer in America, the part that resonates the most is, it's the story of how we overcome. Once you start reading, it's hard to put this book down.
Alex Wheatle's Sufferah is a moving account of one writer's indomitable will to overcome the odds stacked against him. A tender, hilarious, and deeply felt memoir, the book places Wheatle's experiences in foster care and incarceration within a larger context of racism in the UK and dovetails with his coming of age as a lover of reggae music and Jamaican culture. What a gift to witness Wheatle's journey to find and forgive his birth family and to make a life and family of his own
Alex Wheatle's bracingly honest, at times excruciatingly evocative memoir is shaped by the poetics of reggae music-but more than that, it is reggae music: brimming with all the pain and injustice that is baked into Babylon system, yet at the same time, by virtue of its artistic majesty, a beautiful transcendence of these things
Not only an intimate and completely engaging memoir, but also an essential piece of social history. Often heartbreaking but frequently life-affirming too. Alex is a truly gifted storyteller, and the way he details his own story here is no exception.
Inspiring . . . His journey from orphan to self-professed storyteller is by turns gripping and heartbreaking
Conversational and full of self-deprecating humour, Sufferah is a potent tale of triumph over adversity. Angry but never bitter, Wheatle's compassion shines through the pain
A personal memoir as well as a hosannah to the glory that is Jamaican music . . . Sufferah, by turns witty, tragic and, yes, righteous, is a gem