Up West: Voices from the Streets of Post-War London

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This assured debut is very much in the Stephen King vein — creepy with plenty of menace. Her second picture book, a prince-free Rapunzel , features the same mixture of stark black and white and a single colour. Her words share this lack of obfuscatory prettiness, a deadpan, terse narrative voice complementing her sharp illustrative style.

Look out for her forthcoming Hansel and Gretel. David Solomons The Scottish screenwriter represents the best in contemporary comic writing for children — splendidly zany, full of irresistible trivia,but never scrimping on the emotional undertow that ensures longevity and heart. Strange elegantly blends a sense of period with compelling emotion and excitement. Her new novel, Our Castle by the Sea , is due in November. In both she makes character subservient to scenario, whether dealing with coronary transplant staff or workers on a six-lane suspension bridge in a fictional US town.

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This dazzling novel of fragments makes a passionate plea for connectedness through stories that somersault through time and space. Her back catalogue is now being published, with the Blakean Drive Your Plow Over the Bones of the Dead due this year, followed by her historical epic, The Books of Jacob , one of the biggest literary bestsellers in Polish history. In Such Small Hands , Barba plays with the conventions of the ghost story to create a powerful fable of the malice and the erotic power play of children too young to put their fears into words.

Ahmed Saadawi Absurdist morality fable meets horror fantasy in Frankenstein in Baghdad , as a victim of sectarian violence is brought back to life in the aftermath of the US invasion of Iraq. Saadawi unspools an apparently endless causal chain of folly, corruption and tribalism.

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Beyond Infinity begins with an energetic exposition of endlessness, before exploring the mathematical territory the concept opens up with the help of iPods, snorkelling and Winnie-the-Pooh. The Art of Logic is due in September. David George Haskell On a cold January hike in , Haskell, a biologist, found himself confronted with a choice. He could carry on writing scientific papers, following his enthusiasm for poetry and meditation on the side, or he could bring these interests together. The result was The Forest Unseen , a lyrical account of the year he spent returning to that very spot.

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His book The Songs of Trees explores the interconnectedness of nature through portraits of 12 individual trees. A quiet man who stood out from his showy contemporaries, Lister pioneered antisepsis. Amy Liptrot After a childhood in Orkney, Amy Liptrot launched herself into the London clubbing scene with perilous consequences. The Outrun is a gorgeously evocative account of the role her home island played in helping to restore her to health. Cordelia Fine A psychologist, Fine puts her interest in the neuroscience of gender down to being a typical academic parent.

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Delusions of Gender is a witty and elegant account of the dodgy science and persistent biases behind the notion of the gendered brain. Her most recent book, Testosterone Rex , won the Royal Society science book of the year prize in Rooted in her Nigerian heritage, her work melds traditional future narratives with lyrical folkloric fables, African locales with far-future planetary settings. Through strong female characters she explores inequality, gender politics and environmental degradation. Her multi award-winning Bin is a good place to engage with her diverse, complex, character-based science fiction and fantasy.

It was the first volume of a trilogy featuring superheroes, talking dogs, monsters and the apocalypse, refreshingly expressed in a flip, deadpan style. Following the fortunes of Stanly Bird, who finds himself in possession of superpowers — telekinesis and the ability to fly — it wittily delineates youth and pop culture. We can testify from personal experience that it also makes a great soundtrack for sitting at the front of a DLR train pretending to drive.

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Voicing that sentiment there these days is likely to earn you some beaky stares from the well-to-do artisans who now throng its pavements, but we kind of preferred it the old way. Then it gets down to some serious polyamory, which is far more befitting NW1. After recording with The Yardbirds, he accidentally set his hotel room on fire by trying to cook a rabbit in a coffee percolator.

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Then he stabbed a man during a street fight and had to leave in a hurry, hence the visa issues that stopped him from permanently swapping the Mississipi for the Thames. They were putting a definite London accent to the soul music we all loved: a touch of reggae, a bit of rock. We wanted housewives to hear this stuff, not just guys at the Soul Weekenders. On January 18 , 14 young black people were killed in a house fire which swept through a birthday party at New Cross Road.

Although the cause remains unknown, a racially-motivated arson attack was suspected, and the police were accused of covering up the truth. Another paean to the itinerant musician. Lily Allen has a unique talent for making the best of times out of the worst of times. Pimps and crack whores enjoy the sun.

An old lady is mugged by a bad samaritan. Then, he steals her money, watch ring and only in a folk song silver snuff box. This sort of thing is why Bellowhead are the moral winners of a billion Mercury Awards. New arrivals are the cultural Gulf Stream of London. Here Morrissey, daredevil of the euphoric-melancholic tightrope, strikes just the right balance to nail the sensation. In , a young film student at St Martins found himself kicked out of his flat in Camberwell and temporarily homeless. Disco gives way to punk which is replaced by new romanticism, and yet nothing really changes.

A glam terrace anthem if ever there was one, and a clue as to how burly hooligans could reconcile themselves to music made by fey wisps in glittery make-up and stack heels. But seen through the eyes of young Londoners Real Lies on this dreamy single, the humble A becomes a rain-streaked avenue of hope, love and bleary-eyed romance: Pet Shop Boys meets The Streets meets LBC traffic news. These days, Dizzee is known and loved as the all-round adorable purveyor of credible-yet-bouncy rap-pop. Once upon a time, though, he was the tortured prince of grime MCs. That was what they did in the s, kids.

The most memorable performance of this romantic London song took place in , during the early days of the Blitz. Sylvia Harris was there:. The Shepherds Bush Empire had such nice shows. The theatre just fell about, they laughed so much, and Judy Campbell just died laughing on stage. It was just a yelp of laughter from the audience: they quite forgot the air raid!

That was what really inspired the song, just the rush of excitement when you first move to London and get a flat of your own. I had a Tuesday residency there for about a year, and it was an all-nighter so you had to play right through the night. And anyway, kids now will have their own versions of Les Cousins. This anthem for the Stella generation was assembled from snatches of a conversation heard on a night out in Soho.

I was describing a progressively despairing state of mind. The name of the project is a reference to the spread of human life which can be found in the capital. Veloso, a pioneer of the Tropicalismo cultural movement in Brazil, looks back on his song about London through the eyes of an exile:.

I sing about looking for flying saucers in the sky. I loved London and was obsessed by English rock music, but was very, homesick, very depressed, and initially I hated the music I recorded in London. Now I love that song. It sums up the emotions felt by an outsider in this big, beautiful, grey city. Without a ray of hope and seeing their country's entire infrastructure destroyed, many Iraqis turned to terrorism as the only way to avenge their humiliation.

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But the Americans have learnt nothing. The bipartisan deep state has continued its policy of supporting ISIS-affiliated terrorist groups in order to remove one of the last surviving secular regimes in the Middle East. The millions of Syrian refugees who have flooded Europe and America are going to be the seed for future Islamic terror groups. However, under Nicolas Sarkozy Paris pursued a more Washington-aligned foreign policy - no questions asked. France is the prime culprit in the razing of Libya's beautiful cities, its free education and excellent health care system.

In the spring of , Sarkozy took the lead among European nations in pushing for an air campaign against Libyan strongman Muammar Gaddafi. The ostensible motive was to protect civilians in the so-called civil war.

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However, leaked Hillary Clinton emails suggest Sarkozy organised Gaddafi's removal with five specific purposes in mind: "To obtain Libyan oil, ensure French influence in the region, increase Sarkozy's reputation domestically, assert French military power, and to prevent Gaddafi's influence in what is considered Francophone Africa. France feared Libya was going to lead North Africa into a high degree of economic independence with a new pan-African currency backed by its gold reserves of tons of gold and billions of dollars in oil earnings. French intelligence "discovered" a Libyan initiative to freely compete with European currency through a local alternative, and this had to be subverted through military aggression, reports Vice News.

Libya's end is almost as complete as the destruction of Carthage, a North African power by the Romans 2, years ago. Worse, freebooting terrorists backed by French and American intelligence agencies are now extending their reach into the Syrian civil war. Libya's weapon stocks were looted by these rebels, who have since supplied Gaddafi's guns and ammunition to various terror groups. An impression has grown among Muslims globally that the West wants to destroy Islam. But this is not quite true because the political leadership in the West has never viewed Islam as an enemy.