MARCH 14 saw Islington Council has celebrate the life and work of author Andrea Levy by unveiling an Islington Heritage Plaque on her childhood home.
In a joy-filled ceremony at Twyford House on Elwood Street in Highbury, Andrea’s husband Bill Mayblin unveiled the plaque along with Islington councillors and Baroness Lola Young, one of Andrea’s close friends.
Levy was born in Whittington Hospital in Islington in 1956. She grew up with her family in Twyford House on the Blackstock estate, and attended the prestigious Highbury Hill Grammar School (now Highbury Fields School).
After starting to write as a hobby in her early 30s, Levy went on to produce some of the nation’s most celebrated and influential works exploring the lives and contributions of immigrants and working class people in the UK.
Best known for her novels Small Island and The Long Song, Andrea’s work provides an insight into life in Britain from the perspective of the Windrush generation.
“With this plaque, the borough of her birth celebrates Andrea as one of our most treasured literary heroes”Cllr Asima Shaikh, Islington council’s lead member for Libraries and Heritage
She is considered to be one of the foremost chroniclers of the British Caribbean experience. She died last year at 62, of cancer.
Her husband said: “If Andrea could have seen this plaque she would have been amazed, and maybe a little embarrassed even. As for me, I’m just so very proud that her achievements are recognised and celebrated in this corner of Islington that meant so much to her – and that featured so much in her work.”
Cllr Asima Shaikh, Islington council’s lead member for Libraries and Heritage, said: “Andrea Levy’s achievements have had a huge impact on the UK’s literary landscape and her work has left a lasting legacy in the borough that she grew up in.
“In the context of the deep injustices faced by members of the Windrush generation, voices like Andrea’s are more important than ever. Her books remind us not only of the importance of different perspectives but also that whatever their story, people are capable of great kindness and strength.
“With this plaque, the borough of her birth celebrates Andrea as one of our most treasured literary heroes. Her words and work will be remembered for generations to come.”