Latest News: Posts Tagged ‘Tales of Two Londons’

“This scintillating anthology draws on the rich mélange of people who inhabit today’s London” – TALES OF TWO LONDONS reviewed at The London Economic

Monday, May 21st, 2018

Britain has seldom been so divided. There are chasms that exist between the left and the right, gender and age divides and increasingly notable wealth disparities. And if you want a microcosm of that, few places evidence it as potently as London.

London today is embattled as rarely before in peacetime. On one side the city has flourished, cementing its standing as a world leader in business and culture. On the other, poverty remains endemic, homelessness and the privations of low paid work are evident everywhere, gang violence is rampant, and the burnt-out hulk of the Grenfell Tower housing block stands as an ugly reminder that, even in the wealthiest areas, inequality can be so acute as to be murderous.

Read the full interview here.

London’s ‘War Zone’: What Trump and Others Don’t See – read an excerpt from TALES OF TWO LONDONS at City Lab

Tuesday, May 15th, 2018

Trump angered Brits when he cited London’s increasing knife violence recently, saying a city hospital there was “like a war zone.” In this excerpt from Tales of Two Londons, the authors describe the joys and threats in a London neighborhood..

Read the full excerpt here.

Did saving a pool mean losing a community? Read an extract from TALES OF TWO LONDONS in The Guardian

Monday, April 16th, 2018

One summer day in 2003, the local residents of Hackney, north-east London, were invited on a tour of the abandoned site of London Fields Lido. Although closed since 1988, the pool was not empty. Squatters had moved in, and held raves in the old pool tank – much to the annoyance of campaigners, who had cleaned it up for community events. The tour was to introduce locals to a bold new redevelopment plan for the lido: to reopen the pool, install a cafe and evict the squatters.

As the locals were shown around, the squatters sat in front of the changing rooms, where purple buddleia had begun to grow above the doors, and watched them. One woman on the tour, meanwhile, enquired whether she would have to swim if she wanted a coffee. It was a moment that seemed to capture the extremes of life in Hackney: young homeless people facing eviction, and an affluent new resident who saw an opportunity for a latte.

Read the full extract here.

Read an extract from TALES OF TWO LONDONS in The Daily Mail

Monday, April 2nd, 2018

Before I met Rosalind Hibbins, I had heard about her. I was buying an attic flat in North-West London and I had just exchanged contracts with its former owner, Holly, when she mentioned the woman who lived downstairs.

She spoke of Rosalind with such strained diplomacy.

‘She’s a character!’ she said with a nervous laugh. ‘Every street’s got one.’

I was moving from a large Thirties block where my neighbours had been too many and too fluid to get to know beyond the briefest of hellos in the lift. It suited me that way. I had grown up on a housing estate in Primrose Hill, after my parents returned to London from Pakistan, and as the only non-white family in our council block, we tried to live as quietly as we could amid the curiosity and occasional hostility.

As the post-war generation died off, our neighbours became far more unknown and indifferent to us, and we to them.

Read the full extract here.

“A history of the capital in all its mixed-up glory”: The London Evening Standard reviews TALES OF TWO LONDONS

Friday, March 23rd, 2018

Tales of Two Londons, edited by the London-born journalist Claire Armitstead, gathers together poetry, reportage and fiction by Ali Smith, Helen Simpson, Iain Sinclair and others to reveal the British capital in all its mixed-race, mixed-up glory. London eating habits are explored, along with the Tudorbethan architecture of Neasden and model boat sailing in Victoria Park.

Read the full review here.

“The new lonely Londoners…”: An essay by Claire Armitstead, editor of TALES OF TWO LONDONS published at Boundless

Monday, March 19th, 2018

I’m sitting in a Polish airport less than a fortnight after the Grenfell Tower blaze when an email pings into my phone. It’s from a publisher friend asking if I’ll change my mind about editing an anthology of writing about London. When he first asked, a couple of years earlier, I dithered and decided no: the world really didn’t need another book about this most documented city. But this time he’s more pressing. He’s been chatting with his daughter, ‘and she said, “You’d be mad not to do it now.”’.

Read the full essay here.

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