1970s London: Young Michael runs past the railway arches and terraces of Vauxhall. Reaching the street on which he lives, he witnesses a young girl fall from a window, her sari floating down behind her. Her lifeless body lies crumpled on the ground.
This incident marks the beginning of a period in which Michael’s life threatens to unravel. From his sister’s taunts to a series of house fires, police harassment, his parents’ crumbling marriage and the realisation that the council intends to clear out the ‘slum’ he calls home, he learns to navigate his way through an array of obstacles, big and small.
An extraordinary debut novel, Vauxhall tells a warm and hopeful story of a young boy and the city that surrounds him. More
Review in Livres Hebdo (French). More
Review in Africultures (French). More
Listen. Podcast, reading from Vauxhall at Goldsmiths, South London
You can read an extract here.
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I know this might sound a little odd to you but I feel almost moved to tears reading the description of Vauxhall. Perhaps I feel some of your blood, sweat and tears? Hopefully, I’m just a click or two away from buying your book. I’m so pleased for your success. Peace and blessings. Michele
I have read an ouline on your book about Vauxhall. Like you I grew up in Vauxhall in the 70’s- Italian Walk. I am Irish/West Indian (Trinidad) and as you say there was a vibrant community amongst the bomb sites! People worked locally, Myers bed factory, the Unigate dairies (now a Met Police Building) shoe factories along the embankment! On the grass by the Vauxhall Tavern which has thankfully been saved from “development” there is a plaque explaining the history of the area – the Vauxhall Pleasure gardens and Victorian entertainment etc. There is NOTHING noted about the slum dwellings or prefabs that were all over and in fact states that the previous use was the pleasure gardens! We have been written out of the history, so it is comforting to see you have written your book. I look forward to reading it.
Dear Gabriel . I lived in Glyn Street for 11 years as a child from 1963 until it was demolished. Would it be possible to share some memories? Kind regards, Evroula
Evroula, drop me a line at email@example.com best Gabriel