Andrea Levy author of The Long Song and Small Island has passed away from cancer aged 62.

Best known for her award winning novels that captured the voice of the black British Windrush generation. Her last novel, The Long Song released in 2010 was nominated for the Booker Prize and was adapted by BBC One last year. Although, unlike her other four novels (such as Small Island, which documented the lives of a white and black couple living together post WW2.) The long Song was not set in post-war Britain, but was set all the way back to the last years of slavery in early 19th Century Jamaica.

Before Levy little had been written on the lives of Jamaican immigrants. in 1994 she published her first novel, Every Light in the House Burnin′, a loosely autobiographical look at a young woman growing up in north London in the 1960s.

Her publisher, Headline, said that it was “hugely saddened” by her death on 14 February, and that she “had been ill for some time”. Jane Morpeth, Levy’s editor at Headline, said in a statement “incredibly honoured to be Andrea’s publisher and to call her my friend.” She continues “Her legacy is unique, and her voice will be heard for generations to come.”