Londoners | Granta

  • Published: 05/07/2012
  • ISBN: 9781847083296
  • 129x20mm
  • 448 pages

Londoners

Craig Taylor

Here are the voices of London – rich and poor, native and immigrant, women and men – witnessed by Craig Taylor, an acclaimed journalist, playwright and writer, who spent five years exploring the city and listening to its residents. From the woman whose voice announces the stations on the London Underground to the man who plants the trees along Oxford Street; from a Pakistani currency trader to a Guardsman at Buckingham Palace – together, these voices and many more, paint a vivid, epic and wholly fresh portrait of Twenty-First Century London.

[A] splendid oral history of the city... On occasions Londoners attains a level of eloquence as beautiful and blue as anything to be found in the works of Jean Rhys or Samuel Selvon ... A remarkable volume

Guardian

Craig Taylor tunes in to the multi-tongued, self-justifying noise of the streets. And he leaves us with a substantial account, not just of our imaginary riverside capital, but, more vividly, of himself: as inquirer, investigator, part of a long and valuable lineage

Iain Sinclair, Observer

I am crazy about Craig Taylor's Londoners ... I wanted it to go on and on, and I can't imagine any lucky recipient not enjoying it

Diana Athill

The Author

Craig Taylor is the author of two books, Return to Akenfield and One Million Tiny Plays About Britain, which began life as a column in the Guardian newspaper. Both have been adapted for the stage. He is the editor of the literary magazine, Five Dials. His third book, Londoners: The Days and Nights of London Now – As Told by Those Who Love It, Hate It, Live It, Left It and Long for It will be published autumn, 2011. Born in Edmonton, Alberta, he grew up on Vancouver Island. He now lives in London.

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From the Same Author

Return To Akenfield

Ronald Blythe’s 1969 book Akenfield – a moving portrait of English country life told in the voices of the farmers and villagers themselves – is a modern classic. In 2004, writer and reporter Craig Taylor returned to the village in Suffolk on which Akenfield was based. Over the course of several months, he sought out locals who had appeared in the original book to see how their lives had changed, he met newcomers to discuss their own views, and he interviewed Ronald Blythe himself, now in his eighties. Young farmers, retired orchardmen and Eastern European migrant workers talk about the nature of farming in an age of computerization and encroaching supermarkets; commuters, weekenders and retirees discuss the realities behind the rural idyll; and the local priest, teacher and more describe the daily pleasures and tribulations of village life. Together, they offer a panoramic and revealing portrait of rural English society at a time of great change.

Craig Taylor on Granta.com

Essays & Memoir | The Online Edition

Return to Akenfield

Craig Taylor

‘Akenfield did not bow to sentimental ideas of the countryside as idyll’