Sitting in his cramped basement room in Brixton, Battersby dreams of money, women, a T-bone steak – and a place to call his own. So he and a group of friends decide to save up and buy a house together. But amid grasping landlords, the temptations of spending money and the less-than-welcoming attitude of the Mother Country, can this motley group of hustlers and schemers, Trinidadians and Jamaicans, men and women make their dreams a reality?

‘Selvon’s meticulously observed narratives of displaced Londoners’ lives created a template for how to write about migrant, and post-migrant, London … More

Both devastating & funny, The Lonely Londoners is an unforgettable account of immigrant experience – & one of the great 20th-century London novels. At Waterloo Station, hopeful new arrivals from the West Indies step off the boat train, ready to start afresh in 1950s London. There, homesick Moses Aloetta, who has already lived in the city for years, meets Henry ‘Sir Galahad’ Oliver & shows him the ropes. In this strange, cold & foggy city where the natives can be less than friendly at the sight of a black face, has Galahad met his Waterloo?

But the irrepressible newcomer cannot be cast down. He and all the other lonely new Londoners – from shiftless Cap … More

Born OTD in 1923, Trinidad-born writer, Samuel ‘Sam’ Selvon. At Waterloo Station, hopeful new arrivals from the West Indies step off the boat train, ready to start afresh in 1950s London. There, homesick Moses Aloetta, who has already lived in the city for years, meets Henry ‘Sir Galahad’ Oliver and shows him the ropes. In this strange, cold and foggy city where the natives can be less than friendly at the sight of a black face, has Galahad met his Waterloo?

But the irrepressible newcomer cannot be cast down. He and all the other lonely new Londoners – from shiftless Cap … More

It is a book about East End boys & West End girls, bed-sit land & dockland, the homeless & the homesick, immigrants & emigrants. All human life is here – high-minded Hampstead & boozy Fitzrovia, the Jewish East End, intellectual Bloomsbury & Chinese Limehouse, Black London, Asian London, Irish London, Gay London…

Andrew Whitehead on The Nether World by George Gissing Andrew Lane on The Sign of Four by Arthur Conan Doyle … More