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Contemporary London Fiction

The London of the 21st century is a vibrant, cosmopolitan city whose residents speak hundreds of different languages. It is a city of huge contrasts, with billionaires living in some of the most expensive properties in the world but homeless thousands sleeping rough every night. Amidst these contrasting fortunes are almost limitless enterprise and cultural diversity, making Dr Samuel Johnson's famous quotation of 1777 as true today as it ever was: "When a man is tired of London, he is tired of life; for there is in London all that life can afford."

These are our favourite novels depicting the London that we know and love today.

 

Comtemporary London Fiction

Swing Time: LONGLISTED for the Man...
(Hardback)
Zadie Smith
 
LONGLISTED FOR THE MAN BOOKER PRIZE 2017 'Smith's finest. Extraordinary, truly marvellous' Observer 'Superb' Financial Times 'Breathtaking' TLS 'Pitch-perfect'...
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The Lesser Bohemians
(Hardback)
Eimear McBride
 
An eighteen-year-old Irish girl arrives in London to study drama and falls violently in love with an older actor. This older man has a disturbing past that the young girl...
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Thirst
(Paperback)
Kerry Hudson
 
From the prize-winning author of Tony Hogan Bought Me An Ice-Cream Float Before He Stole My Ma Winner of the Prix Femina EtrangerLondon, in the frayed heat of summer. Heart-wrenching'...
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Foreign Affairs
(Paperback)
Alison Lurie
 
'Vinnie Miner, 54-year-old Anglophile professor, is in London on a six-month foundation grant. Fred's is a fraught liaison with a waitress while Vinnie drifts into a relationship with an engineer...
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White Teeth
(Paperback)
Zadie Smith
Dealing - among many other things - with friendship, love, war, three cultures and three families over three generations, one brown mouse, and the tricky way the past has of...
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Brick Lane
(Paperback)
Monica Ali
 
Still in her teenage years, Nazneen finds herself in an arranged marriage with a disappointed man who is twenty years older. On a background of racial conflict and tension, they...
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The Road Home
(Paperback)
Rose Tremain
Lev is on his way from Eastern Europe to Britain, seeking work. Behind him loom the figures of his dead wife, his beloved young daughter and his outrageous friend Rudi...
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Capital
(Paperback)
John Lanchester
 
The residents of Pepys Road, London - a banker and his shopaholic wife, an elderly woman dying of a brain tumour, the Pakistani family who run the local shop, the...
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Saturday
(Paperback)
Ian McEwan
Henry Perowne, a successful neurosurgeon, stands at his bedroom window before dawn and watches a plane - ablaze with fire like a meteor - arcing across the London sky. But...
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The Room Of Lost Things
(Paperback)
Stella Duffy
 
* A brilliant new novel from the author of Singling out the Couples, State of Happiness and Parallel Lies
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Millennium People
(Paperback)
J. G. Ballard; Iain Sinclair
 
Violent rebellion comes to London's middle classes.
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Notes on a Scandal
(Paperback)
Zoe Heller
 
From the first day that the beguiling Sheba Hart joins the staff of St George's history teacher Barbara Covett is convinced she has found a kindred spirit. This title explores...
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Pattern Recognition
(Paperback)
William Gibson
 
Cayce Pollard owes her living to her pathological sensitivity to logos. In London to consult for the world's coolest ad agency, she finds herself catapulted, via her addiction to a...
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Londonstani
(Paperback)
Gautam Malkani
 
`Londonstani', Gautam Malkani's electrifying debut, reveals a Britain that has never before been explored in the novel: a country of young Asians and white boys (desis and goras) trying to...
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A Week in December
(Paperback)
Sebastian Faulks
Seven wintry days to track the lives of seven characters: a hedge fund manager trying to bring off the biggest trade of his career; and a Tube driver whose Circle...
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Latest Blog
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25/04/2018

With the anniversary of the Carnation Revolution upon us, Gary from our Fiction department shares a few tips for getting to know Portugal better...

Max Porter on the Portobello Prize
24/04/2018

What makes great non-fiction? And how do you tell a true story? To celebrate the inaugural Portobello Prize for Narrative Non-Fiction, on 1st May 2018 we're hosting an evening with Portobello Books — a panel discussion on the nature of non-fiction writing in today's literary landscape, followed by the announcement of the first ever winner of the Prize.

Women's Prize for Fiction 2018 Shortlist
23/04/2018

This year's shortlist for the Women's Prize for Fiction has been announced

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