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A Stranger City

A Stranger City

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The woven narratives evoke our urban patchwork - its autonomy and surprising intimacies, and I loved the way Grant vividly brought to life a multi-faceted London through deep observation of people and places that rang true. The city itself is a storyteller, with urban myths that feed off the paranoia of a collective unconscious, and topographical digressions that take us into the realm of the absurd. Linda Grant, an astute chronicler of social history in fact as well as fiction, is well placed to enliven this tradition.

Ultimately the message is we are all different, with our different origins, our different stories, yet we all come together to form something that is way bigger than we are! You can change your choices at any time by visiting Cookie preferences, as described in the Cookie notice.

What worried me most after the referendum was the xenophobia, and everyone affected, in quite personal ways,” says Grant. There is a richness in this novel, found in a migrant experience that is deeply embedded rather than distinct from its environment. Davies, because it was too painful to see my own anxieties and fears about the present moment given heft and weight through narrative. It is too difficult to hold so many characters in the mind all at once, so each time a character re-appears, he or she has to be re-learned. On that same night, a big hearted, exuberant Irish nurse, briefly ‘disappears’ but is found in part due to her online presence in a YouTube clip which went viral.

Photograph: Andy Rain/EPA View image in fullscreen Dark undercurrents … a corpse in the Thames is the novel’s starting point.

Linda Grant expresses her views through her characters resolutely and with passion, adding life to her characters and making it easier to envisage a sanitised future lacking much cultural diversity. London is presented as a city that is both isolating and desperately lonely; full of secrets, a city where you can re-invent yourself and one you can disappear in. At one point Francesca goes through a passageway under an aqueduct and enters the Island, a “geographical anomaly” occupied by the families of council waste operatives, with a retired circus elephant stabled in a lock-up garage. Like Jo, the Bleak House crossing sweeper, or Grant’s Chrissie, on a picaresque journey from flat share to flat share, always moving on.

  • Fruugo ID: 258392218-563234582
  • EAN: 764486781913
  • Sold by: Fruugo

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