Back to home page - News From Nowhere Radical & Community Bookshop

News From Nowhere Radical & Community Bookshop

not-for-profit - a workers'co-op - committed to social justice | 96 Bold Street, Liverpool L1 4HY - 0151 708 7270

Londonstani

by Gautam Malkani - £9.99  Harper Perennial (2007)
paperback    ISBN 13: 9780007231768 | ISBN 10: 0007231768

Set close to the Heathrow feed roads of Hounslow, Malkani shows us the lives of a gang of four young men: Hardjit the ring leader, a Sikh, violent, determined his caste stay pure; Ravi, determinedly tactless, a sheep following the herd; Amit, whose brother Arun is struggling to win the approval of his mother for the Hindu girl he has chosen to marry; and Jas who tells us of his journey with these three, desperate to win their approval, desperate too for Samira, a Muslim girl, which in this story can only have bad consequences. Together they cruise the streets in Amit's enhanced Beemer, making a little money changing the electronic fingerprints on stolen mobile phones, a scam that leads them into more dangerous waters.
 
Funny, crude, disturbing, written in the vibrant language of its protagonists – a mix of slang, Bollywood, texting, Hindu and bastardised gangsta rap – ‘Londonstani’ is about many things: tribalism, aggressive masculinity, integration, cross-cultural chirpsing techniques, the urban scene seeping into the mainstream, bling bling economics, 'complicated family-related shit'. It is one of the most surprising British novels of recent years.
 

"The aspirational gangsta swirls us into a bhuna of gang-fights, inter-faith romance and organised crime, and the dizzying humour that underpins his voice is sharp, clever and convincing…In a linguistic politics redolent of Sam Selvon, Victor Headley and Irvine Welsh, Malkani conveys with élan and expertise, through a sub-urban “desi-dialect”, the absurdity of adolescence and the complex self deceptions of contemporary cultural dynamics in the UK."
Independent
"Malkani has some interesting observations about identity and the way in which the culturally oppressed can take strength from their exclusion. The end is a complete surprise and forces the reader to question the skin-deep assumptions we make about race."
Sunday Telegraph
"”Londonstani” is a bold debut, brimming with energy and authenticity."
Observer
"If you’re going to read one yoofy, “urban” book this summer, make sure it’s “Londonstani”!"
Arena Magazine

(Price & availability last checked: June 2018)

This website can't tell you if we have this book in the shop or not - to ask, phone us or use the enquiry link below. (We can order most books within 7-10 days, subject to availability.)
  


In booklists: Writers by Surname - M, Fiction - Asian British Writers,
In categories: Fiction, Black, Asian & Other Diasporas,

© News From Nowhere Co-operative Ltd IP24524R 2004-2020 | Privacy policy | Contact | return to top of page