2 August 2015

'Brixton Rock' by Alex Wheatle

Alex Wheatle
The story Brixton Rock (1999) is set against the backdrop of the Brixton race riots in London in the 1980s, the novel tells a story of overcoming obstacles from a teen's perspective. Brenton Brown, a 16-year-old mixed-race youth, has lived in a children's home all his life and is haunted by the absence of his mother.
Complications arise, however, when he finally meets his mother and then falls dangerously in love with his half-sister. Killer Terry Flynn also scars Brenton's life and leaves him wanting revenge. Through it all, this determined teen is driven to pursue education and recognize his true self in the midst of chaos.

Who is Alex Wheatle

Born in 1963 to Jamaican parents, Wheatle spent much of his childhood in a Surrey children's home. At 16 he was a founder member of the Crucial Rocker sound system; his DJ name was Yardman Irie. He wrote lyrics about everyday Brixton life. By 1980 Wheatle was living in a social services hostel in Brixton, South London. He participated in the 1981 Brixton riots and aftermath.

He received the London Arts Board New Writers Award in 1999 for his debut novel Brixton Rock,which was later adapted for the stage and performed at the Young Vic in July 2010.

Video

In this video Wheatle talks about his youth, the Brixton riots of 1981


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