Andrew Smith

Andrew Smith

On Saturday 28th January, Light House will welcome guests to the Wolverhampton Literature Festival for a selection of great events.
This includes
Andrew Smith – Author Reading and Q&A
6pm – Lock Works Cafe Bar
Free entry – Reading from his recently published novel ‘The Speech’.

On April 20th, 1968 Enoch Powell, Member of Parliament in the English town of Wolverhampton, made a speech that shook Britain to its core. The ramifications of what some labelled a ‘racist diatribe’ changed forever the way in which race was viewed and discussed in the United Kingdom. THE SPEECH: a novel follows the lives of a group of characters — including Powell himself — living in Wolverhampton over a ten-day period before and after his speech.

Mrs. Georgina Verington-Delaunay is a volunteer working in the Conservative riding office of Enoch Powell. It is through her interaction with Powell, now at a critical point in his political career, that we get to know him intimately. Frank and Christine are art students inadvertently caught in an undercurrent of intolerance. Nelson and his aunt, Irene, are Jamaican immigrants striving to make a life for themselves in an atmosphere of turbulent emotions and polarised opinions concerning Britain’s immigration policies.

A violent crime brings these disparate characters together as they struggle to find their places in the swiftly changing society of 1960s Britain. Set against a background of ‘subversive’ music, radical fashions, and profound change in ‘moral values,’ they attempt against all odds to bring a fair conclusion to an unjust investigation. As they work together against murky elements of self-interest and bigotry, they’re forced to confront their own consciences and prejudices.

In and around the unfolding plot we learn about the brilliant but deeply flawed Enoch Powell. We’re privy to his life — both public and private — leading up to his infamous speech, and to some of his hidden motivations. Despite frequent calls to reveal his sources for outrageous anecdotes included in the speech, Powell never divulged them. THE SPEECH: a novel conjectures about the possible genesis of Powell’s ‘stories.’


There will be an opportunity to purchase signed copies of the book after the talk.

For information on the author, please visit

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