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Literary London Special

28 minutes
First broadcast:
Sunday 17 June 2012

Literary London Special. How London has inspired writing and writers across the centuries.

Recorded in A Room for London, the creative / living space in the shape of a boat on top of the Queen Elizabeth Hall on the South Bank of the Thames, Open Book explores the impact the city has had on literature - from Chaucer and Dickens to Martin Amis and Peter Ackroyd; the themes it evokes and why it creates such a diverse backdrop to novels. Mariella Frostrup is joined by novelists who've all been charmed by London - Will Self, Amanda Craig, Dreda Say Mitchell and Ben Aaronovitch.

Producer: Andrea Kidd.

  • Literary London

    Literary London

    From left to right: Ben Aaronovitch, Amanda Craig, Dreda Say Mitchell and Mariella Frostrup at A Room for London.


    Will Self
    Publisher: Bloomsbury
    How the Dead Live, The Book of Dave
    Publisher: Penguin

    Amanda Craig
    Hearts and Minds, A Vicious Circle Publisher: Abacus

    Dreda Say Mitchell
    Hit Girls, Geezer Girls, Gangster Girl, Running Hot
    Publisher: Hodder

    Ben Aaronovitch
    Whispers Under Ground, Rivers of London Publisher: Gollancz

  • The guests’ recommended books

    Charles Dickens – Our Mutual Friend and Great Expectations

    Peter Ackroyd – London: The Biography

    Thomas de Quincey – Confessions of an English Opium-Eater

    JG Ballard - Millennium People

    George Orwell – Down and Out in Paris and London

    Israel Zangwill – Children of the Ghetto

    William Gibson – Mona Lisa Overdrive

    Sam Selvon – The Lonely Londoner

    Jack London - The People of the Abyss

    Alex Wheatle - The Dirty South

    Stella Gibsons – Westward

    Iain Sinclair – London Orbital

  • Other books on London mentioned

    Chaucer - The Canterbury Tales

    Martin Amis – London Fields

    John Lanchester – Capital

    Arthur Conan Doyle - the novels of Sherlock Holmes

    Robert Louis Stevenson – The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde

    Oscar Wilde – The Picture of Dorian Grey

    H.G. Wells - The World of the Worlds

    Maggie Gee – The Flood

    Virginia Woolf – Mrs Dalloway

    Colin MacInnes - Absolute Beginners

    E.M. Forster – Howard’s End

    Wilkie Collins – The Woman in White

    P.L Travers – Mary Poppins

    Bram Stoker – Dracula

    John Jefferies - After London

    John Wyndham – The Kraken Wakes


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    Books and Authors

    This podcast features Open Book and A Good Read. In Open Book, Mariella Frostrup talks to leading…

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