Archive for June, 2012

  • Have you noticed how each of us conjures up our own city?

    This is the story of a city.
    • Jun 25, 2012 • Tags:

    To celebrate the upcoming release of Sam Thompson’s COMMUNION TOWN, we’re giving away the first chapter absolutely free, right here. Download it onto your ereader now and enjoy on the bus, on the tube, or however you move around your city.

    Read more…

  • Not the guide book: Anjali Joseph’s favourite places in Paris, London and Bombay

    Photography © C J Humphries
    • Jun 8, 2012 • Tags: , , ,

    The writer of Another Country, whose protagonist Leela lives in each of these cities in turn, talks about some of her favourite places to visit or eat and drink in each…

    Another Country is out now, and is the superb second novel from the author of the multiple-award winning Saraswati Park.

    Paris, London, Bombay: three cities form a backdrop to a journey through Leela’s twenties at the dawn of the new millennium, as she learns to negotiate the world, work, relationships and sex, and find some measure of authenticity. Sharp, funny, and melancholy, Another Country brings a cool eye to friendship, love, and the idea of belonging in its movements through old and new worlds. As with her debut, Saraswati Park, Anjali Joseph’s beautiful, clear writing captures exactly both emotions and surroundings…

     Some PARIS cafés for dawdling

    L’Apparemment Cafe - 18, rue des Coutures Saint-Gervais, Paris 75003

    This spacious, pleasingly dim cafe in the heart of the Maris, near the Musée Picasso, has comfortable armchairs, delicious and enormous salads, and you can play chess and other board games, read a book, sip a kir or a coffee, or chat with a friend. It’s located on a street so small that its name doesn’t fit into the street on the map, but it’s just off the rue Vieille du Temple, one of the arteries of the trendy Marais.

    Apparemment Café ©L’Internaute Magazine / Yan Callier

    Café de l’Industrie, 16, rue Saint Sabin, Paris 75011

    This nice bistro just off the place de la Bastille feels less like a restaurant and more like Captain Haddock’s museum of ethnography, but there’s a great plate of tagliatelle with smoked salmon ribbons and crème fraîche to be had amid the African masks.

    La Fourmi Ailée

    Not ‘the garlicky ant’, sadly, but ‘the winged ant’. If you haven’t had a mad, slightly esoterically-inclined aunt with an old house, the sort of library that has its own stepladder, and a gallery in it, and who’d also left you a collection of wonderful teas and great cheeses, then you can come here, consume both, and sit looking out on a pleasantly intricate part of the 5th arrondissement, not too far from the rue Saint-Jacques or the place Mouffetard (near the Paris of Hemingway’s A Moveable Feast).

    Three nice LONDON pubs

    The Grapes

    Charles Dickens used to stop in here, but don’t let that put you off. The beer isn’t bad and you can sit in a bay window and watch ducks dodge industrial craft on the Thames in historic Limehouse.

    The Red Lion, 1 Waverton Street, London W1J 5QN

    A tiny pub in Mayfair with an open fire in winter and a cosy feel any time of year.

    The Trafalgar Tavern, Park Row, Greenwich, SE10 9NW

    This is a lovely place for an evening pint, or a meal near the windows that give onto the river. There are fires in winter, and all year round a lovely feeling of coasting along the water as though in a comfortable ship.

    Two places to go in BOMBAY


    Visitors often find Mumbai overwhelmingly populous, expensive, and loud; this is the antidote. The quiet temple tank at the heart of this little village in Walkeshwar, South Mumbai, dates originally from the 12th century, though it was rebuilt in the 18th. Temples belonging to different communities surround the serene tank, and there are old trees, birds, and the calm of a village temple, just a stone’s throw from the bustle of Marine Drive. It’s a beautiful place to watch the sun go down.


    Bhel puri, a savoury snack made of fried potato vermicelli, puffed rice, boiled potato, raw onion and a few different, mouthwatering chutneys soaking it all together, is often used as a metaphor for Mumbai, which is itself a conglomerate of multiple heterogenous peoples, activities, styles of architecture, political leanings, and notions. Vithal Bhelwala in Fort is one of the safer places to eat bhel puri – you might also try Swati Snacks, in Tardeo, or Soam, near Banganga, which has a range of delicious vegetarian Gujarati food. The best bhel comes from streetside vendors, and is served in a cone of newsprint, but this is probably best not broached by any visitor with tender digestion.

  • Once Upon A River Competition

    Once Upon
    • Jun 6, 2012 • Tags: , ,

    Bonnie Jo Campbell’s ‘Once Upon A River’ is out on the 7th June, and to celebrate, we’re offering you the chance to win a beautiful hardback copy.

    Meet Margo Crane – a female Huckleberry Finn, a teenage Scout Finch – as she single-handedly takes on a hostile world in this enthralling debut.

    After the violent death of her father, in which she is complicit, Margo Crane takes to the
    Stark River in her boat, with only a few supplies and a biography of Annie Oakley, in
    search of her vanished mother.
    But the river, Margo’s childhood paradise, is a dangerous place for a young woman
    travelling alone, and she must be strong to survive, using her knowledge of the natural
    world and her ability to look unsparingly into the hearts of those around her. Her river
    odyssey through rural Michigan becomes a defining journey, one that leads her beyond
    self-preservation and to deciding what price she is willing to pay for her choices.

    To win one of the three competition copies, please tweet your favourite literary heroine with the hashtag #OnceUponARiver: to @FourthEstateUK

    Competition closes Friday 8th June.