New Book— “Time Come: Selected Prose by Linton Kwesi Johnson”

As a long-time fan, I can’t wait to have this (in the words of Gary Younge) “incisive, engaging, fearless” book in my hands. Published by Picador / Pan Macmillan this month, this collection includes an introduction by Paul Gilroy.

Zadie Smith writes, “Linton Kwesi Johnson brought the aural poetry of Jamaican speech to ‘H’england’ and captured it in verse. He contributed a sharp and still relevant analysis of class dynamics to our literature. Oh, and he also made music from words. Thank you, Linton!”

Description: Recognized as one of the great poets of modern times, and as a deeply respected and influential political and cultural activist and social critic, Linton Kwesi Johnson is also a prolific writer of non-fiction. In Time Come, he selects some of his most powerful prose – book and record reviews published in newspapers and magazines, lectures, obituaries and speeches – for the first time. Written over many decades, it is a body of work that draws creatively and critically on Johnson’s own Jamaican roots and on Caribbean history to explore the politics of race that continue to inform the Black British experience.

Ranging from reflections on the place of music in Caribbean and Black British culture as a creative, defiant response to oppression, to his penetrating appraisals of music and literature, and including warm tributes paid to the activists and artists who inspired him to find his own voice as a poet and compelled him to contribute to the struggle for racial equality and social justice, Time Come is a panorama of an exceptional life. A collection that ventures into memoir, it underscores Johnson’s enduring importance in Britain’s cultural history and reminds us of his brilliant, unparalleled legacy.

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