East of Acre Lane

Paul Gilroy and Alex Wheatle

‘Alex Wheatle writes from a place of honesty and passion’ Steve McQueen, director of Small Axe

East of Acre Lane is the fast-paced and razor sharp story of a young man trying to do the right thing from celebrated author Alex Wheatle, one of the figures who inspired Steve McQueen’s Small Axe

It is 1981, and Brixton is on the verge of exploding. Biscuit lives with his mother, brother and sister, trapped hustling on the frontline for the South London badman Nunchucks. As the patience of the community breaks and the riots erupt, Biscuit must make a choice that could change his life forever.

‘His prose is as sharp as a barber’s cutthroat and the hard edged dialogue perfectly captures that London vibe. Thrilling, very funny, and most of all a page turner’ Courttia Newland

Reviews of East of Acre Lane

    • ‘Alex Wheatle’s second novel is a rhythmic, fast-talking tour of the tower blocks of South London.The strength of the novel lies in the characters who form Biscuit’s posse … writing in a street slang that reads like an urgent urban poetry, Wheatle catches the dialogue of the friends and contrasts it with passages of distilled description. He observes meticulously the subcultures within the black community… It is this blend of frantic action and thoughtful writing that ranks Alex Wheatle alongside Courttia Newland as one of the most exciting writers of the black urban experience.’ The Times
    • ‘Dubbed the Brixton Bard by his contemporaries, Alex Wheatle was always ambitious… He is first and foremost a story teller.’ The Voice
    • ‘This is a vibrant book pulsing with the reggae beats of the era. The dialogue… has rhythm and inventiveness. And the violent climax is a cathartic one, the logical and positive first stage of a revolution.’ ***** Independent on Sunday
    • ‘Wheatle’s novel is a bright, adventurous tale, jammed to the rafters with a parade of fine hustlers, headcases and herbsmen.’ The Latest
    • ‘In East of Acre Lane Alex Wheatle has managed far more than simply pulling off a fast, punchy morlaity tale centring on a young man’s dilemma about going straight or opting for a life of crime… Action packed, funny and filled with cocky banter between its teenage male characters, references to reggae music and street stye, its a cool, credible read… Wheatle has written a hardhitting novel which is an incendiary reminder of one of the most explosive events in London’s post war history.’ Big Issue