Ged Pope is a proud dweller in Surburbia, and the author of a new book entitled All The Tiny Moments Blazing: A Literary Guide to Suburban London.
The London suburbs have, for more than 250 years, fired the creative literary imagination: whether it be Samuel Johnson hiding away in bucolic pre-industrial Streatham, Italo Svevo cheering on Charlton Athletic FC down at The Valley, or Angela Carter hymning the joyful ‘wrongness’ of living south-of-the-river in Brixton. From Richmond to Rainham, Cockfosters to Croydon, this sweeping literary tour of the 32 London Boroughs describes how writers, from the seventeenth century onwards, have responded to and fictionally reimagined London’s suburbs. It introduces us to the great suburban novels, such as Hanif Kureishi’s Bromley-set The Buddha of Suburbia, Lawrence Durrell’s Black Book and Zadie Smith’s NW. It also reveals the lesser-known short stories, diaries, poems, local guides, travelogues, memoirs and biographies, which together show how these communities have long been closely observed, keenly remembered and brilliantly imagined.
Join Lucinda Hawksley as she chats to fellow author and suburbia defender Ged Pope on 18 August at midday.