Out of the Margins

15 SEPTEMBER 2023 - 06 OCTOBER 2023
Small Island 1. Cover 3. Headshot 2. Annotations
Small Island
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48. Helen Edmundson

Small Island

Small Island 
Signed and annotated 
Second edition paperback, reprint with revisions 
19.8 x 12.9 cm 
London: Nick Hern Books, 2022

ESTIMATE


£1,000 - 10,000

This auction has now ended

Out of the Margins (48/55)

Notes


The play, based on the late Andrea Levy’s novel of the same name, weaves together the story of Jamaica and the UK's histories in the mid-20th century. 

The long note at the start of the book is very moving, it begins: "Andrea died on February 14th 2019. 5 days before we started rehearsals." What follows is a beautiful, deeply affectionate account of how Helen Edmundson achieved the difficult task of not just turning a cherished novel into a cherished play, but at such a difficult time too: the novelist had incurable cancer. "I felt honoured and blessed to have her story in my care." 

A note on a reworked section after the first run here, a scribble on how the idea of Hortense as a hurricane came out of an early workshop there: this is a real insight into a working process of adaptation and dignity. "Now the stories really start to intervweave". Should the playwright adhere to the novelist's use of language in the book? "AL adamant that I should. Felt we had to be truthful." 

This is such a poignant annotated edition of the second run of the play; we are deep in the middle of a conversation here between Helen Edmundson and the wonderful Andrea Levy, whose novel touched so many, and the play of which helped find an even wider audience. On the way discover Andrea Levy's favourite meal as well as Helen Edmundson's favourite scene of the whole play. This is a very touching lot.

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