Salaam Brick Lane by Tarquin Hall.

Not to be confused with the controversial novel “Brick Lane” by Monica Ali. This is a very well written account of life in the east end of London and particularly Brick Lane written in an autobiographical way.
It’s excellent – a pleasure to read.
Hall discusses with warmth the situations of various people he meets there who are predominantly immigrants and refugees from various countries including Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Iraq, Eastern Europe and the Jewish community.
He also describes the waves of immigration which have taken place there for centuries starting with the Huguenots who were protestant refugees from Catholic persecutors in France in the fifteenth century (I think), Jews in the nineteenth century, Bangladeshis in the 20th century and smaller numbers of other groups.
His search together with an Indian anthropologist for the real cockneys is frustrated. They have all long ago moved away into suburbia.
The only unconvincing aspect of the book is the dispassionate way he discusses his relationship with his fiancee who becomes his wife. No hint of emotion or passion but warmth and perhaps love comes across.

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1 Response to Salaam Brick Lane by Tarquin Hall.

  1. afroz says:

    Aha! Sounds good – I wonder what the book-burning residents of Brick Lane ( well the alleged book-burners, shall i say – according to the media..)would think about this particular text?

    I wonder if sales will go up for this book as well with all the fuss surrounding the other one.

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