Who were the people who built this glamorous, dirty, infinite metropolis, and what is it about their descendants that makes London such an exhilarating experience today?
Drawing on her own unique background as a former punk rock journalist and a British Kenyan Asian, Nazneen Khan-Østrem goes on a quest in London to meet the people who have shaped the most cosmopolitan city in the world – and to understand more about her own identity, a distinct heritage also shaped by years in Norway.
From retired Polish Brexit-punks in Streatham to a legendary DJ in Kensal Rise; from an Orthodox rabbi in Stoke Newington to an Indian millionaire in Shoreditch; from Rye Lane in Peckham to The Russian Debutante Ball in Park Lane. With Britain more divided than it has been in a generation, and with many calling for an end to ’the experiment of immigration’, London has held firm.
No other book has ever captured the diversity of London in such a rich and remarkable manner. Where would London be without the hard work of the Irish, the sweetness of the Italians, the music of the Caribbean, the Indian food or the wealth of the Russians – to mention some of the communities that feature in this timely and urgent book.
This book offers both a historical backdrop and insight about the British Empire and the immigration that has created London’s unique fabric. There is no doubt: every impression you have had about this city will change as you read this book.
Nazneen Khan-Østrem has written the ultimate book about Great Britain’s capitol…It is a history book, a travel guide, a gastronomic walk with dishes from around the world, a reflective sociological analysis, a story about music, theater and visual arts, and not least a driving good story.
One of the best books of the year!
London is a book that got me to dread going to sleep and look forward to waking up to continue reading.
When the last page is read, it feels like I have read a book that is not just about London, but about the nature of the city itself.