To the launch of Londoners.
My good friend, the author Stephen Thompson invited me to accompany him to the launch party of the book, Londoners, by fellow writer Craig Taylor which was held at the Canal Museum, in the back streets of the now newly smartened up Kings Cross. Published this week by Granta, Londoners is Craig’s attempt to “assemble an oral history of London, a panoramic portrait of the city and as much about Londoners as about London itself”.
To this ambitious end, which took him five years (and I, for one, do not relish the sheer amount of grinding transcription this entailed), he interviewed 300 Londoners across everyone of its boroughs and “gathered almost a million words of conversation” of the city’s glorious cacophony and already the book is receiving some fantastic coverage (and see my earlier post below) in the press.
A large number of the Londoners Craig interviewed were present at the Canal Museum event and Stephen and I fell into conversation with the garrulous cab-driver from Essex, and his wife, who contributed to the book. As Craig said in the short speech he gave, look around and talk to someone you don’t know.
Copies of Londoners stacked up for sale at the launch
Two authors – Stephen Thompson (left) and Craig Taylor (right)
The launch at the Canal Museum begins to fill up
Thanks for the invite, Stephen! It was a fantastic night.