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City Fiction

'The most important and most ordinary city miracle is its capacity to transform the greenhorn into just another face in the crowd. He will learn the language, make his way, become a citizen. The very hay-chewing oddity of his appearance at the outset is a tribute to the city's power to change us all...' Jonathan Raban, Soft City. Explore the transformative power of the city in our selection of urban fiction.

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Call it Sleep
Call it Sleep (Paperback)
Henry Roth; Alfred Kazin
David Schearl arrives in New York in his mother's arms to begin his new life as an immigrant. David is hated by his father, but is fiercely loved and protected...
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The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier ...
Michael Chabon
Winner of the 2001 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction, 'The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay' is a heart-wrenching story of escape, love and comic-book heroes set in Prague, New York...
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Invisible Cities
Invisible Cities (Paperback)
Calvino, Italo
Original title: "Le cita invisibili'
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The Lonely Londoners
Samuel Selvon; Nasta Susheila
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...
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A Fine Balance
A Fine Balance (Paperback)
Rohinton Mistry
Set in mid-1970s India, a subtle and compelling narrative about four unlikely characters who come together in circumstances no one could have foreseen soon after the government declares a 'State...
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Harare North
Harare North (Paperback)
Brian Chikwava
 
When he lands in Harare North, our unnamed protagonist carries nothing but a cardboard suitcase full of memories and a longing to be reunited with his childhood friend, Shingi. He...
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The Lazarus Project
Aleksandar Hemon
 
The unprovoked murder of a Russian Jewish immigrant ignites a dazzling novel of flight, emigration and the meaning of home
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Sister Carrie
Sister Carrie (Paperback)
Theodore Dreiser; Lee Clark Mitchell
 
'When a girl leaves her home at eighteen, she does one of two things. Either she falls into saving hands and becomes better, or she rapidly assumes the cosmopolitan...
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Vanity Fair
Vanity Fair (Paperback)
William Makepeace Thackeray; John...
 
No one is better equipped in the struggle for wealth and worldly success than the alluring and ruthless Becky Sharp, who defies her impoverished background to clamber up the class...
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The Jungle
The Jungle (Paperback)
Upton Sinclair; Eric Schlosser; ...
 
Presents a story that exposes the brutal conditions in the Chicago stockyards at the turn of the nineteenth century. This work also brings into moral focus the apalling odds against...
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Arranged Marriage
Arranged Marriage (Paperback)
Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni
 
A collection of 11 stories, each one complete in itself, which chronicle the hopes and fears of Indian-born women living in America.
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The Arrival
The Arrival (Hardback)
Shaun Tan
 
What drives so many to leave everything behind and journey alone to a mysterious country, a place without family or friends, where everything is nameless and the future is unknown...
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Tales of the City
Tales of the City (Paperback)
Armistead Maupin
 
A naive young secretary, fresh out of Cleveland, tumbles headlong into a brave new world of laundromat Lotharios, pot-growing landladies, cut throat debutantes, and Jockey Shorts dance contests. The saga...
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Let the Great World Spin
Colum McCann
 
Winner of the National Book Award and a New York Times bestseller
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Interpreter of Maladies
Jhumpa Lahiri
 
Pulitzer-winning, scintillating studies in yearning and exile from a Bengali Bostonian woman of immense promise.
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Bright Lights, Big City
Jay McInerney
 
You are at a nightclub talking to a girl with a shaved head. The club is either Heartbreak or the Lizard Lounge. So begins our hero's trawl through the brightly...
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