Welcome to the LitCharts study guide on Andrea Levy's Small Island. Created by the original team behind SparkNotes, LitCharts are the world's best literature guides.
Small Island: Introduction
Small Island: Plot Summary
Small Island: Detailed Summary & Analysis
Small Island: Themes
Small Island: Quotes
Small Island: Characters
Small Island: Symbols
Small Island: Theme Wheel
Brief Biography of Andrea Levy
Historical Context of Small Island
Other Books Related to Small Island
- Full Title: Small Island
- When Written: ca. 2004
- Where Written: London, England
- When Published: 2004
- Literary Period: Contemporary
- Genre: Fiction, Historical Fiction
- Setting: London, England; Kingstown, Jamaica
- Climax: The revelation that Queenie is pregnant with an illegitimate biracial baby, and Hortense and Gilbert’s subsequent decision to adopt that baby.
- Antagonist: Racism, as personified by Bernard Bligh
- Point of View: First-person limited
Extra Credit for Small Island
Real-life Resemblance. Although Small Island isn’t autobiographical, it does have some similarities to Levy’s life; her father immigrated from Jamaica to London in 1948, followed shortly by her mother. Levy’s semi-autobiographical novel is called Every Light in the House Burnin’.
High Profile. Five years after its initial publication, Small Island was adapted into a two-part television series by the BBC.