Culture Street

Today we continue our series bringing you books that reflect both historical and contemporary London. Sita Brahmachari is our guest author.

Sita was born in Derby in 1966. She has a BA in English Literature and an MA in Arts Education. Sita’s artistic and academic work has explored cultural diversity and representation within the Arts. Her writing, research work, community theatre, education projects and plays have been commissioned by among others: The Royal Shakespeare Company, The Royal Court Theatre, The Arts Council, London International Festival of Theatre and Tamasha Theatre Company for which she is currently under commission co-creating The Arrival a theatre-circus production (based on Shaun Tan’s graphic novel) with Kristine Landon-Smith.

Sita’s first Novel Artichoke Hearts (Macmillan Children’s Books) won the Waterstone’s Children’s Book Award 2011, and was nominated for The Carnegie Medal and her second novel Jasmine Skies was published in March 2012. Sita is currently working on her third novel Kite Spirit to be published by Macmillan Children’s Books in 2013.

Sita has just completed The London Run... where thousands of people run through the landmarks of London for charity. Sita and Simon (who inspired the character of protest Simon in Artichoke Hearts ran in aid of the Bhopal Medical Appeal. This photo was taken outside Trafalgar Square with the count down to the Olympics. Sita commented, "We look as though we could both have come straight out of the pages of White Teeth!"

 
Sita selected White Teeth by Zadie Smith

If I was asked to pick a book that best captured the vibrant diversity as well as the discordant notes of London as we prepare for the Olympics White Teeth, would still get my vote. It was the first novel I read that in any way reflected contemporary London and its far reaching legacy as a post-colonial city. Set in the diverse suburb of ‘Willesden Green’ (well off the tourist map) but crossing to other London village communities such as Portobello Road, this novel spanning generations, religions, classes, cultures and ideals paints a true picture of what it’s like to live in a London community.  Zadie Smith has a genius for capturing the voices and characters of this city with wit, poignancy and humour.

 

 

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