'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.
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...
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...
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...
Original title: "Le cita invisibili'
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...
The unprovoked murder of a Russian Jewish immigrant ignites a dazzling novel of flight, emigration and the meaning of home
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...
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...
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...
One of the classics of travel writing, this is a prescient exploration of the individual's relationship with urban living
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...
It is 1926 and winter grips Harlem. Joe Trace shoots to death his lover, the impetuous 18-year-old Dorcas. At the funeral his determined, hardworking wife Violet tries to disfigure the...
Colette; Antonia White
Claudine is in despair, having left her beloved Montigny for a new life in Paris. But her instinctive curiosity gradually leads to an awakened interest in the city. She records...
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.
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...
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...