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  • Virago PB
  • Virago
  • Virago
  • Hachette Audio
  • Virago

A Stranger City

Linda Grant

4 Reviews

Rated 0

Modern & contemporary fiction (post c 1945)

A brilliant novel about the London of today - a shifting, exciting, dangerous place where people search for the meaning of home. Peopled with wonderful characters and, as is usual for this author, a provocative story about our times.

'[A] shimmering new novel . . . Grant's book is as much a love letter to London as a lament, an ode to pink skin after sunny days and lost gloves waving from railings' The Economist

'A compelling portrait of contemporary London, it's a novel fit for shifting, uncertain times' Suzi Feay, Financial Times


'A Stranger City feels like a very important novel for right now: no politically ponderous diatribe but a witty, sunlounger-accessible and deeply humanising story about people - about us - and the societal shipwreck we're stuck in' Evening Standard

When a dead body is found in the Thames, caught in the chains of HMS Belfast, it begins a search for a missing woman and confirms a sense that in London a person can become invisible once outside their community - and that assumes they even have a community. A policeman, a documentary film-maker and an Irish nurse named Chrissie all respond to the death of the unknown woman in their own ways. London is a place of random meetings, shifting relationships - and some, like Chrissie intersect with many. The film-maker and the policeman meanwhile have safe homes with wives - or do they? An immigrant family speaks their own language only privately; they have managed to integrate - or have they? The wonderful Linda Grant weaves a tale around ideas of home; how London can be a place of exile or expulsion, how home can be a physical place or an idea. How all our lives intersect and how coincidence or the randomness of birth place can decide how we live and with whom.

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Praise for A Stranger City

  • Grant is superb on London life, which is at once atomised and seen as a web of unlikely connections. However, as her by turns humorous and horrifying tale circles and deepens, her deft peeling back of the capital's layers raises increasingly unsettling questions about where all of us might be heading - Daily Mail

  • [A] shimmering new novel . . . Grant's book is as much a love letter to London as a lament, an ode to pink skin after sunny days and lost gloves waving from railings - The Economist

  • The novel is fleet-footed . . . Londoners of all ages, backgrounds and hues throng the novel . . . The plot's seemingly haphazard quality mirrors the contingency of urban life but the way Grant makes even the minor characters flare into life gives the novel richness and depth. A compelling portrait of contemporary London, it's a novel fit for shifting, uncertain times - Financial Times

  • Grant conveys how these sentiments affect her individuals with insightful emotional accuracy - Sunday Times

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Linda Grant

Linda Grant is author of five non-fiction books and seven novels. She won the Orange Prize for Fiction in 2000 and the Lettre Ulysses Prize for Literary Reportage in 2006. The Clothes on Their Backs was shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize in 2008 and went on to win the South Bank Show Award. The Dark Circle was shortlisted for the 2017 Women's Prize for Fiction. Her latest novel, A Stranger City, was published in 2019. Linda Grant lives in London. She is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature and holds honorary doctorates from the University of York and John Moores University.

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