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October 2003
"It's a labour of love"
Norman Samuda Smith
Birmingham writer Norman Samuda-Smith discovered his love of writing when he was 10 years old. He made history in 1982 for being the first Black British-born novelist to be published in the UK.
WATCH and LISTEN

Listen to Norman read an exert from his story Rasta Love

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SEE ALSO

Read Norman's full interview

Read the exert of Rasta Love

Get the lowdown on how to speak Patois

An intro to the Rastafarian faith

Rastafarian festivals and holy days

BBC Multicultral History

WEB LINKS

Norman Samuda-Smith website

Tindal Street Press

Birmingham libraries: Black History Month
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FACTS

Whispers in the walls - 17 stories from the pens and hearts of Black and Asian writers in Birmingham.

Tindal Street Press - now an established publishing house, grew out of the Tindal Street Fiction Group, founded in 1983. With funding, the Press has now embarked on an expansion of its early publishing activities from 2002, with six fiction titles with a regional focus planned each year. Its aim is to raise Birmingham's cultural profile, showcase new writers and build a readership for good, locally set fiction.

Awards - Chosen by World Book Day 2003 as one of 10 ‘books that say the most about contemporary England’ * Winner of the Arts Ball ‘Celebrating Cultural Diversity’ Award * 5 stories broadcast on BBC Radio 4 in August 2002.

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Norman has been writing short stories from an early age. In the 1980's he tried his hand at play-writing and acting for a theatre company, Ebony Arts, of which he was a founder member.

His novel, Bad Friday, about a group of teenage friends who love basketball, was first published in 1982 by Trinity Arts, Birmingham. It was shortlisted for the Young Observer Fiction Prize in that year and was republished by New Beacon Books, London in 1985.

Rasta Love...

His latest work ‘Rasta Love’ is featured in an anthology of short-stories by Birmingham Black and Asian writers called Whispers in the Walls, published by West Midlands based Tindal Street Press in 2001.

A Love story...

Norman
Norman Samuda-Smith

‘Rasta Love’, written in Patois, is a love story based in Small Heath Birmingham. It's set in the mid 1970s, amidst the energy crisis, mass union strikes, redundancies and record unemployment.

Within the black communities of England, a religious revival is happening, the Rasta musical uprising in Jamaica is influencing the first generation of black British-born youth to follow the teaching and glory of Rastafari...

Listen to Norman recite an exert of his story Rasta Love

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Alternatively, read an exert from Norman's short story 'Rasta Love' here.

Talking Patois...

If you need to brush up on you Patois, take a look at our words and phrases.

An interview with Norman Samuda-Smith

We caught up with Norman for an interview. He talks about his achievement of becoming the first black British-born author, the influences of roots and culture reggae artists such as Bob Marley, Peter Tosh and Burning Spear in his life.

Also his Rastafarian faith and his thoughts on the future of black writers in the UK. Read Norman's full interview here.

 

 

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