Arcadia Books are pleased to announce the acquisition of UK & Commonwealth rights to an anthology of fiction, reportage and poetry. Giving voice to this most contemporary city there are 40 contributions including pieces by Duncan Campbell, Andrew O’Hagan, Jane Shilling, Helen Simpson, Ali Smith and a number of previously unpublished immigrants and refugees. Taken together, their stories portray the fabric of the city: its housing, its food, its pubs, its buses, even its graveyards.
There are people working with deprived youth in city, from Kurdish activists, and from tenants’ groups, and with more than a third of the voices belonging to those not born in the UK, this anthology aims to reflect the fact that any city is the sum of its people.
Memoir, reportage, history and several different genres of poetry spark off each other in challenging, invigorating and inspiring ways. Above all, this compelling anthology questions its citizens and draws on the rich mélange of people who inhabit today’s London, both lamenting the unequal way the city treats them and celebrating the vibrant urban life their co-existence delivers.
The anthology’s editor Claire Armitstead writes:
‘I'm thrilled that Tales of Two Londons is being published by Arcadia because, at this critical time in the UK's history, I feel that these voices need to be heard. Though often represented as a privileged city, London is actually a melting pot roiling with the best and worst of us - with anger, humour, hope and despair. By collecting a wide range of writing, from journalists, short story writers and poets, new arrivals as well as established authors, this anthology aims to offer a snapshot of our globalised society in all its complexity - and to demonstrate that a city is everything that exists in its citizens' heads. ‘
Piers Russell-Cobb, the publisher of Arcadia Books commented on the acquisition: ‘These stories connect all of us who live and work in London and make us appreciate the real bonds that connect us rather than the artificial which separate us. We’re continuing our ethic in publishing edgy literary writing from wherever it hails.’