"nothing less than a revolutionary moment in the unfolding of British multiculturalism."
Promo for Junglist, my first novel, now reissued, a quarter of a century after it's first printing.
Imagery courtesy of my co-author and photographer Eddie Otchere
“Junglist’s prose vibrates as much as it documents”.
Back in print after two decades, Junglist tells the compelling, comic, stream-of-consciousness story of four young Black men coming of age among the raves and Jungle music scene in London during the 1990s.
Layered with poetic verse, prose and humour, this cult classic of underground British fiction documents the rollercoaster ride of a weekend spent raving during Jungle’s cultural takeover in the summer of 1994. Jungle, with its booming basslines and Jamaican patois, burst from the pirate radio stations and mixtapes into cavernous clubs, pulling a generation of Black British ravers with it.
Originally written as a way to document street culture as it became a feature of London, charting a time when working-class kids, both Black and white, merged to dance as “one family”, Junglist is both a testament to Black British sound system culture and a rawthentic account of inner-city life.
The Observer writes....
Junglist deals with the machinations of a “fashion industrial complex” that feeds on the energy and authenticity of youth culture, the toxicity of racist policing and, crucially, the contradictions of race and racialisation, both across the city at large and within the microcosm of the music scene that the authors love – “as if you can tell how Black a person is just by looking at their complexion”. In this way, the book establishes the context against which jungle became a transcendent and unifying force in the 1990s, as a new generation of inner-city Londoners emerged from the wreckage of the Thatcher era...
In the introduction to this new edition, critic Sukhdev Sandhu (whose 2003 publication, London Calling: How Black and Asian Writers Imagined a City, still makes an essential contribution to the restoration of invisibilised black British literature) writes about how “Junglist’s prose vibrates as much as it documents”.
It’s a fitting description of a text that speaks to the soul of what was nothing less than a revolutionary moment in the unfolding of British multiculturalism.
Reviews and interviews
Get a copy at the link below