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London: Immigrant City

Nazneen Khan-Ostrem

3 Reviews

Rated 0

Social & cultural history

Is there a street in London which does not contain a story from the Empire? Immigrants made London; and they keep remaking it in a thousand different ways. This is an entirely new map of a city everybody thinks they already know.

'One of the best books on the many diverse migrations to London . . . revealing the extent to which the diversity of immigrant origins has had transformative effects - through food, music, diverse types of knowledge and so much more. The book is difficult to put it down'
Saskia Sassen, The Robert S. Lynd Professor of Sociology, Columbia University, New York

'The ultimate book about Great Britain's capital'
Dagbladet

'One of the best books of the year! . . . This is a book about what a city is and can be'
Aftenposten

Is there a street in London which does not contain a story from the Empire? Immigrants made London; and they keep remaking it in a thousand different ways. Nazneen Khan-Ostrem has drawn a wonderful new map of a city that everyone thought they already knew.

She travels around the city, meeting the very people who have created a truly unique metropolis, and shows how London's incredible development is directly attributable to the many different groups of immigrants who arrived after the Second World War, in part due to the Nationality Act of 1948. Her book reveals the historical, cultural and political changes within those communities which have fundamentally transformed the city, and which have rarely been considered alongside each other.

Nazneen Khan-Ostrem has a cosmopolitan background herself, being a British, Muslim, Asian woman, born in Nairobi and raised in the UK and Norway, which has helped her in unravelling the city's rich immigrant history and its constant ongoing evolution.

Drawing on London's rich literature and its musical heritage, she has created an intricate portrait of a strikingly multi-faceted metropolis. Based on extensive research, particularly into aspects not generally covered in the wide array of existing books on the city, London manages to capture the city's enticing complexity and its ruthless vitality.

This celebration of London's diverse immigrant communities is timely in the light of the societal fault lines exposed by the Covid-19 pandemic and Brexit. It is a sensitive and insightful book that has a great deal to say to Londoners as well as to Britain as a whole.

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Praise for London: Immigrant City

  • Nazneen Khan-Ostrem has written the ultimate book about Great Britain's capital. - Dagbladet

  • One of the best books of the year! London is a book that got me to dread going to sleep and look forward to waking up to continue reading. When the last page is read, it feels like I have read a book that is not just about London, but about the nature of the city itself. This is a book about what a city is and can be: a kind of organism consisting of many conflicting interests and religions, of food and music, dance and prayer. - Aftenposten

  • Nazneen Khan-Ostrem has written one of the best books on the many diverse migrations to London. We all know by now that London, Paris, New York, and other major cities are destinations for immigrants coming from a vast mix of countries. What is less known is the extent to which the diversity of immigrant origins has actually had transformative effects in these powerful cities - through food, music, diverse types of knowledge and so much more. The book is difficult to put it down - I started reading it at 7.00 p.m. and did not stop until 10 hours later.

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Nazneen Khan-Ostrem

NAZNEEN KHAN-OSTREM was born in Nairobi and is a Kenyan Asian of Pashtun descent. Raised in the UK and Norway, and still a British citizen, she has worked as a television presenter for NRK and an arts journalist for the Norwegian broadsheet Aftenposten. Nazneen graduated from the London School of Economics with a MSc in International Relations in 2000 and started working as an assistant professor in Journalism at Oslo Metropolitan University. Her first book, My Holy War, about Islam and identity, was published in 2005; and in 2007 she was selected for the Edward R. Murrow Exchange Program in Journalism by the US State Department. Nazneen joined Norwegian publisher Aschehoug as a commissioning editor in 2011 and is now a staff commentator at Aftenposten.

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