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Description - Society within by Courttia Newland

SOCIETY WITHIN takes us back to the Greenside Estate, West London, scene of Courttia Newland's ground-breaking and hugely successful first novel, THE SCHOLAR. Newly arrived on the estate is Elisha: sweet, bright, sassy and just eighteen. As Elisha negotiates some new territory with more than fair share of dark corners, we take in the vividly interlocking lives of the other Greensiders: cool, ambitious Valerie, with some bad secrets to deal with; Little Stacey, looking for his first girl; Orin, dealing, stealing and trying to stay away from anything too lethal. Courttia Newland tells gripping stories from real lives - stories of dreamers and fighters, love and revenge, friendship and betrayal - in a language burning with energy, originality and conviction.

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Book Details

ISBN: 9780349111803
ISBN-10: 0349111804
Format: Paperback
(197mm x 126mm x 19mm)
Pages: 320
Imprint: Abacus
Publisher: Little, Brown Book Group
Publish Date: 21-Sep-2000
Country of Publication: United Kingdom

Other Editions - Society within by Courttia Newland

Book Reviews - Society within by Courttia Newland

UK Kirkus Review » At 26, Newland is the author of The Scholar and co-editor of The Penguin Book of New Black Writing in Britain. In Society Within he uses the device of seeing the estate through the eyes of Elisha, an 18-year-old girl obliged to move with her mother, sister and her mother's new man into a towerblock flat on the Greenside Estate. Elisha has heard all the stories about this place, but she makes up her mind to ignore them, make friends and get a job. Her story starts and ends the novel; in between we dip into a bouquet of other lives, some funny, some dangerous, some unexpectedly moving. A panoramic treatment shows the blocks and parks, the schools, streets, cars and fast food restaurants, the crack house and the fence. The camera moves in closer and shows who is racist, who is dealing or hungry for money and who already has the most expensive sound system and the gold. We become familiar with whole families, resent the big sisters and hate the stepfathers. Newland is happiest with dialogue; he is faithful to what the black kids have to say and the way they say it. At first the reader longs for some guidance, but gradually, as the rhythm and repetition of the speech take over, that uncertainty disappears. The book has pace, variety and great vitality. There is a serious vein running through it which, thank goodness, stops short of becoming a message. (Kirkus UK)


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Author Biography - Courttia Newland

Courttia Newland is the twenty-five-year-old author of THE SCHOLAR. He has also contributed to various anthologies including DISCO 2000, NEW WRITERS 8, AFROBEAT and TEENAGE KICKS. Film rights to THE SCHOLAR have been optioned and he is working on the screenplay.

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