Reverse-Gentrification of the Literary World

Akashic Books

||| |||

Catalog » Browse by Title: M » Mr. Loverman

Mr. Loverman


A groundbreaking, hilarious novel about two elder gay Caribbean men coming to terms with being closeted in a changing world.

$16.95 $12.71

Available as an e-book for:

What people are saying…

Winner of the Ferro-Grumley Award for LGBT Fiction

“Evaristo’s confident control of the language, her vibrant use of humor, rhythm and poetry, and the realistic mix of Caribbean patois with both street and the Queen’s English . . . fix characters in the reader’s mind.”
New York Times Sunday Book Review

A Top Ten Favorite of the American Library Association’s Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, and Transgender Round Table’s 2015 Over the Rainbow List

“As a writer at the Guardian once proclaimed, if you don’t know Evaristo’s work, you should . . . the novel proves to be revolutionary in its honest portrayal of gay men . . . and Evaristo’s writing is both intelligible and compelling.”
Library Journal (starred review)

“The writing is poetic, the characters are realistic and all sides are well portrayed.”
Huffington Post

“Evaristo crafts a colorful look at a unique character confronting social normativity with a well-tuned voice and a resonant humanity.”
Publishers Weekly

“In this vibrant novel, Evaristo draws wonderful character portraits of complex individuals as well as the West Indian immigrant culture in Britain.”

“Although Evaristo has always been an innovative stylist, her latest novel, the critically acclaimed, award-winning smash, Mr. Loverman, is her chef d’oeuvre; a masterful dissection of the life of a 74-year-old, British-Caribbean gay man.”
Huffington Post, feature on Bernardine Evaristo

Included in the Bay Area Reporter‘s “Pride Reading List: Prose & Poetry”

Included in Baltimore Out Loud‘s Pride Reading List

“If the novelist’s job is to make sense of the world, Bernardine Evaristo’s entire oeuvre attests to her desire to upend preconceived notions of what is and isn’t impossible and reflect that mirror right back at her readers. Mr. Loverman is a powerful, morally rigorous and joyful novel and Bernardine Evaristo is a writer at the height of her imaginative powers.”
Huff Post Books

“Barrington Jedediah Walker lives in London, but he also lives a lie . . . As his marriage self-destructs, Barrington sees an opportunity to be with the man he loves, but after such protracted misery in this comic, touching book, happiness seems distant and frightening.”
Village Voice, part of “65 Things to Do in New York During Spring 2014

Mr. Loverman is a brilliant portrayal of a life that is only lived fully during the twilight years and the struggle within to get there . . . This is a book for everyone, not to be shelved into a grouping for just one sector of society.”

“Barrington is the kind of character that is naturally likeable; from his love of Shakespeare down to the tips of his boots, he oozes charm and charisma.”
Lit Reactor

“It takes you and shakes you silly, leaving you stunned . . . Of the many books I’ve read so far this year, Mr. Loverman is one of the best.”

Mr. Loverman is beautifully written book that will leave readers wanting to discuss it with everyone they know.”
Bloggers Recommend

“Delightful . . . a good read.”
Book Reviews Given by Arlena

“Bernardine Evaristo uncovers characters lost to history and myth and with compassion, an original and brilliant voice, and an unparalleled craft—all tinged with humor—she restores them and thus us.”
Chris Abani, author of The Secret History of Las Vegas

“Evaristo is extremely attentive to the function of language, the power of words to shape reality.”
—Ron Charles, Washington Post Book World

“This riproaring, full-bodied riff on sex, secrecy and family is Bernardine Evaristo’s seventh book. If you don’t yet know her work, you should—she says things about modern Britain that no one else does.”
Guardian (UK)

“A brilliant study of great characters in modern London. As such—as Mr. Barrington Walker, Esq. himself might have acknowledged—it is very clever indeed.”
Independent on Sunday (UK)

“Fear and loathing of homosexuals has a long history in the West Indies . . . Bernardine Evaristo, in her funny, brave new novel, Mr. Loverman . . . explores issues of homosexuality in the British West Indies and London’s West Indian diaspora community . . . I loved . . . this tender, even trailblazing novel.”
The Spectator (UK)

“Evaristo’s second prose novel similarly transforms our often narrow perceptions of gay men in England. The familiar trope of the closet is deployed, but contested and reworked in winningly credible, moving ways . . . The effect is variously comical, agonizing and, ultimately, moving. Evaristo tells us of lives we imagined we knew, while rearranging much more than the furniture.”
Independent (UK)

“Evaristo has a lot going on in this unusual urban romance, but beneath her careful study of race and sexuality is a beautiful love story. Not many writers could have two old men having sexual intercourse in a bedsit to a soundtrack of Shabba Ranks’s ‘Mr. Loverman’ and save it from bad taste, much less make it sublime. But the hero of this book, and his canny creator, make everything taste just fine.”
Telegraph (UK)

“A pacey fable about summoning both the daring and the art to live a truthful life, and her writing simply fizzes with musical energy.”
Sunday Express (UK)

“This poignant tragi-comedy goes some way toward exploring engrained prejudice.”
Time Out London (UK)

“Few writers since Hanif Kureishi have tackled the subject of homosexuality in British Asian or black culture. Evaristo’s sensitively drawn narrative captures the erotic attraction between two aging lovers, while exploring the relationship of tender companionship.”
Times Literary Supplement (UK)

Mr. Loverman is hilarious, poignant, clever, controversial and courageous in equal measure. Loved, loved, loved it!”
—Dawn French, author of Dear Fatty

“A brave and important story . . . I enjoyed it enormously.”
—Jonathan Kemp, author of London Triptych

Praise for Bernardine Evaristo:

“Evaristo is adventurous, compelling, and utterly original.”
Times (UK)

“Evaristo’s skill lies in taking standard metaphorical models and twisting them in the most unusual, original, inventive ways.”
Sunday Times (UK)

“Bernardine Evaristo can take any story from any time and turn it into something vibrating with life.”
—Ali Smith, author of There But for The

“A feisty, hyperactive imagination . . . bittersweet, riotous humor.”
Independent (UK)

“Audacious genre bending, in-yer-face wit and masterly retellings of underwritten corners of history are the hallmarks of Evaristo’s work.”
New Statesman (UK)


Barrington Jedidiah Walker is seventy-four and leads a double life. Born and bred in Antigua, he’s lived in Hackney, London, for years. A flamboyant, wise-cracking character with a dapper taste in retro suits and a fondness for Shakespeare, Barrington is a husband, father, grandfather—and also secretly gay, lovers with his childhood friend, Morris.

His deeply religious and disappointed wife, Carmel, thinks he sleeps with other women. When their marriage goes into meltdown, Barrington wants to divorce Carmel and live with Morris, but after a lifetime of fear and deception, will he manage to break away? With an abundance of laugh-out-loud humor and wit, Mr. Loverman explodes cultural myths and shows the extent of what can happen when people fear the consequences of being true to themselves.

See a recap of the Mr. Loverman book launch at English Kills Review.

Read an interview with Bernardine Evaristo at Vanity Fair.

Book Details

  • Paperback: 288 pages
  • Published: 4/1/14
  • IBSN: 9781617752728
  • e-IBSN: 9781617752803
  • Hardcover: 288 pages
  • IBSN: 9781617752896


BERNARDINE EVARISTO has been hailed as one of Britain’s most exciting and original authors. Her books have been chosen as Books of the Year nine times by British newspapers. In 2004 she was made a fellow of the Royal Society of Literature and in 2006 of the Royal Society of Arts. She has written drama for theater and BBC Radios 4 and 3, collaborated on a multimedia performance with the musicians Joanna MacGregor and Andy Sheppard for the City of London Festival. Based in London, England, she frequently tours worldwide. Mr. Loverman is her latest novel.

More info »