Tag Archives: London Stories

London Stories: The Umbrella by Hanif Kureishi

I’ve been wanting to read Hanif Kureishi’s The Buddha of Suburbia for a while now, so I was glad to see his short story, The Umbrella included in London Stories. Roger, the narrator of The Umbrella is a father of two young sons, who has separated from his wife recently. One evening he takes his […]

London Stories: Islington by Irma Kurtz

Islington is an essay taken from Irma Kurtz’s book; Dear London: Notes from the Big City. Irma Kurtz is an internationally renowned agony aunt, who worked for Nova in the mid-1960s, a UK magazine which touched on ‘taboo subjects’ for its day. A native New Jerseyan, Kurtz had settled in London after traveling in Europe […]

London Stories: In Defence of the Underground by Doris Lessing

In Defence of the Underground took me back to my summer days in London and left me feeling nostalgic. Written in 1992, Doris Lessing’s essay is a description of a tube ride Lessing takes from Mill Lane station to Charing Cross. It’s a patchwork of her memories and observations where Lessing skillfully portrays a changing […]

London Stories: Daisy Overend by Muriel Spark

The Public Image is the first book by Muriel Spark I read. I was impressed by Spark’s story of Annabelle, a rising actress, and her husband Fredrick, a playwright who is extremely resentful of Annabelle’s success and goes onto to concoct a scandal to taint Annabelle’s public image. Although The Public Image was written almost […]

London Stories: Tigers Are Better-Looking by Jean Rhys

… You haven’t any idea how sick I am of all the phony talk about Communism – and the phony talk of the other lot too, if it comes to that. You people are exactly alike, whatever you call yourselves – Untouchable. Indispensable is the motto, and you’d pine to death if you hadn’t someone […]

London Stories: Coming to London by J. B. Priestley

Coming to London is J. B. Priestley’s reminiscences of his early days in London in 1920s. After working as a University Extension lecturer upon his degree completion at Cambridge, Priestly had decided to move to London to freelance. As a newly-wed with less than fifty pounds at hand, striking on his own might have been […]

London Stories: Mysterious Kôr by Elizabeth Bowen

Full moonlight drenched the city and searched it; there was not a niche left to stand in. The effect was remorseless: London looked like the moon’s capital – shallow, cratered, extinct. It was late, but not yet midnight; now the buses had stopped the polished roads and streets in this region sent for minutes together […]

London Stories: The Wall by William Sansom

The Wall describes a near-death experience of a firefighter on a night during air raids in London. At 3.00 AM in the morning, the unnamed narrator is out fighting a blaze with three of his fellow firefighters. The building is a five-storied Victorian warehouse, and it is their third job that night. They all are […]

London Stories: A Little Place Off the Edgware Road by Graham Greene

This is a very short review! I read Graham Greene’s The End of the Affair awhile back. I liked his writing, but the plot not so much – I was put off by the long talks of God – which pained me at the time because I was hoping Greene would be a good pick […]

A Forsyte Encounters the People, 1917 by John Galsworthy

A Forsyte Encounters the People, 1917 is from John Galsworthy’s novel On Forsyte ‘Change. Galsworthy who won the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1932 wrote a number of books on the Forsyte family. Even though On Forsyte ‘Change is not a part of The Forsyte Saga, it looks into the lives of older Forsytes before the […]

London Stories: The Elephant Man by Frederick Treves

I think most of you would be familiar with the story of Joseph Merrick thanks to the 1980 movie, The Elephant Man. I haven’t watched the movie, but I had a vague idea of who Joseph Merrick was before reading Dr. Frederick Treves first-hand account from the book, The Elephant Man and Other Reminiscences. For […]

London Stories: The Fetching of Susan by Alfred Walter Barrett

The Fetching of Susan is probably the most unusual short story I read this year. Written by Alfred Walter Barrett in 1912, the story chronicles London suburban life. I couldn’t find much information about Barrett on the internet. He seems to be an enigma – The Fetching of Susan is from Neighbours of Mine, which […]

London Stories: Christopherson by George Gissing

Christopherson, written in 1902 is a short story in George Gissing’s collection The House of Cobwebs and Other Stories. For George Orwell, Gissing was “perhaps the best novelist England has produced.” This was my first time reading Gissing’s work, and I think Orwell might have been onto something – Gissing is a fantastic storyteller! 🙂 […]

London Stories: My First Soiree by Eliza Lynn Linton

My First Soiree by Eliza Lynn Linton was a delightful read! It’s a story about a young married couple who have been married for about two years. Jonathan, the husband one day proposes to his wife, Totty that they should invite a few friends for tea. Next day Totty comes up with a list of […]

London Stories: The Walworth Jumpers by C. Maurice Davies

The Walworth Jumpers is an essay about C. Maurice Davies’s visit to a sanctuary in Walworth to listen to the preaching of Mary Ann Girling. Girling created Walworth Jumpers (or Children of God), an alternative spirituality which assured the followers of its doctrine that they will never experience bodily death! She was a simple woman […]