Johnnie Sobert is a brown Jamaican who earns his living as a barman in a Soho club. Sobert is a man divided: between Black and White; between class identities; between heterosexual and homosexual desires; between being an exiled Jamaican and an incipient Black Londoner.
Against the background of bedsitter Hampstead and bohemian Soho, Sobert attempts to be, as he describes himself, a 'nigger with coolth' but the reality is that his wisecracking persona is an all too transparent cover for his uncertainties. He embarks on an unsatisfactory affair with his landlady, Fiona, which makes him uncomfortably aware of the stereotype of black desire for 'white pussy', and then goes to live with his gay friend Dick. The novel ends with Johnnie yet to make a decision about where his desires really lie.
Introduction by Thomas Glave.