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Salaam Brick Lane
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After ten years living abroad, Tarquin Hall wanted to return to his native London. Lured by his nostalgia for a leafy suburban childhood spent in south-west London, he returned with his Indian-born, American fiance in tow. But, priced out of the housing market, they found themselves living not in a townhouse, oozing Victorian charm, but in a squalid attic above a Bangladeshi sweatshop on London's Brick Lane. A grimy skylight provided the only window on their new world: a filthy, noisy street where drug dealers and prostitutes peddled their wares and tramps urinated on the pavements. At night, traffic lights lit up the ceiling and police sirens wailed into the early hours. Yet, as Hall got to know Brick Lane, he discovered beneath its unlovely surface an inner world where immigrants and asylum seekers struggle to better themselves and dream of escape. Salaam Brick Lane is a journey of discovery by an outsider in his own native city. It offers an explicit glimpse of the underbelly of London's most infamous quarter, the real-life world of Monica Ali's bestselling novel.
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Promotional Information

A gritty, hilarious and often touching memoir of a year spent living in the immigrant melting pot of London's East End.

About the Author

Tarquin Hall became an under-age journalist at nineteen and spent the next ten years working in Africa, America, Asia and the Middle East. He is the author of Mercenaries, Missionaries and Misfits, an account of his early adventures; and To the Elephant Graveyard: A True Story of the Hunt for a Man-killing Elephant, a BBC Radio 4 Book of the Week. He is married to the BBC World Service presenter Anu Anand. They live in East London.

Reviews

'Well-written without mawkish pieties.' -- Saga Magazine 20050401 'Amused and amusing, this is a refreshing addition to the accounts being offered of the area.' -- Stratford Recorder 20050504 'Fascinating and funny' -- Canterbury, Herne Bay, Whitstable & Faversham Focu 20050701 'Powerful' -- Kent Messenger 20050801 'A remarkable cross-section of British society ... Hall's sympathetic, anecdotal approach is a fine counter to the appalling racism of much current tabloid journalism ... This is a fine and eloquent book.' -- What's On UK 20050701 'This is a beautifully written book about a world we ignore except when it makes tabloid headlines.' -- American 20050501 'Entertaining' -- Bookseller 20050107 'Charming, brilliant, affectionate and quietly impassioned ! it manages to be balanced, humane and life-affirming. I hope it sells out faster than cases of Chalky's "Coat de Roen"'. -- Guardian 20050416 'Tarquin Hall is right at the heart of what he writes about ... Hall's new friends spring brilliantly to life off the page ... it's hard to imagine a more moving or more telling record of lives on the edge' -- Caroline Gascoigne, Sunday Times 20050417 'Forthright and funny' -- Daily Telegraph 20050416 'I was absolutely riveted. It's funny, enlightening and very moving ... I'm recommending it to all my friends just because it's such a good read.' -- Kate Fox, author of Watching the English 20041201 'He has a fine ear for the myriad speech patterns of the East End's varied inhabitants.' -- Daily Mail 20050422 'Entertaining...Hall cannily plays the bewildered public schoolboy to a range of different characters ... allows us to hear the wonderful patter of the East Enders' -- Times Literary Supplement 20050701 'Fascinating and funny' -- Sunday Times 20050710 'Such a light, playful book and yet with a compelling tow which takes you into the myriad realities of life in the East End of London.' -- Yasmin Alibhai-Brown 20050225 'A thought-provoking read ... fascinating insights into fractured lives. And Hall's affectionate portrayals of eccentric acquaintances enhance this touching portrait no end' -- Metro 20050413 'Tender and harrowing' -- The Times 20050326 'He brings a sharp eye and a dry humour to his descriptions' -- Anthony Sattin, Sunday Times 20051127 'A gem of a book that reveals a hidden world lying right on our doorstep. As the stories unfold, so does our appreciation for Tarquin Hall's acute eye and for the gentle power of his narrative' -- Saira Shah, writer and broadcaster 20051127 'Salaam Brick Lane is a compelling journey of discovery by an outsider in his own city and offers an explicit glimpse of this quarter of London' -- Traveller 20050601

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