The Unbelonging is the story of Hyacinth, an eleven-year-old Jamaican girl who must leave the warmth and exuberance of the backstreets of Kingston for the gloom of British inner city life with a father she has never met. Through academic achievements and dreams of her homeland, Hyacinth triumphs against the hostility of her classmates and the threats of violence she endures at home, sustained by the sure knowledge that her dreams hold the truth. The Unbelonging tells the story of the struggles of the Windrush generation in the UK, of the pressures they faced, the homesickeness they endured, and of the cultural misunderstandings, malicious or well meaning that continue to underlie race relations today.
Joan Riley was born in St Mary's, Jamaica, and now lives in Britain. She is the author of Romance, Waiting in the Twilight and A Kindness to Children.