‘The Lonely Londoners’ by Sam Selvon

Technically this is a novella not a short story, but it can probably be read in one sitting, so I’m compelled to slot it into this anthology. With its lively creole dialogue and comedic scenes contrasting beautifully with the powerful and heart-breaking pathos of the narrator, Moses, The Lonely Londoners is a masterpiece in contemporary writing. Selvon’s novella depicts the plight of West Indian immigrants who travel to post-war London in search of a better life, only to be disappointed by the reality of a cruel welcome to the ‘promised land’. 

First published in 1956 by Longman’s Press. Currently available as a Penguin Modern Classic, 2006