London, 1957. Victoria Station is awash with boat trains discharging hopeful black immigrants into a cold and alien motherland. Liberal England is about to discover the legacy of Empire. And when Montgomery Pew, assistant welfare officer in the Colonial Department, meets Johnny Fortune, recently arrived from Lagos, the meeting of minds and races takes a surprising turn… Colin MacInnes gives London back to the people who create its exciting subculture. Hilarious, anti-conventional, blisteringly honest and fully committed to youth and vitality, City of Spades is a unique and inspiring tribute to a country on the brink of change.
About the Author
COLIN MACINNES (1914-76), son of novelist Angela Thirkell, cousin of Stanley Baldwin and Rudyard Kipling, grandson of Burne-Jones, was brought up in Australia but lived most of his life in London about which he wrote with a warts-and-all relish that earned him a reputation as the literary Hogarth of his day. Bisexual, outsider, champion of youth, ‘pale-pink’ friend of Black Londoners and chronicler of English life, MacInnes described himself as ‘a very nosy person’ who ‘found adultery in Hampstead indescribably dull’ and was much more at home in the coffee bars and jazz clubs of Soho and Notting Hill. A talented off-beat journalist and social observer, he is best known for his three London novels, City of Spades, Absolute Beginners and Mr Love and Justice. MacInnes died of cancer in 1976.