by Stuart Maconie - £8.99 Ebury Press (2008)
paperback ISBN 13: 9780091910235 | ISBN 10: 0091910234
'My name in Stuart Maconie, and I am from the north of England. Some time ago, I was standing in my kitchen, rustling up a Sunday brunch for some very hungover, very northern mates who were 'down' for the weekend. One of the was helping me out and, recipe book in hand, asked: "Where are the sun-dried tomatoes?"
"They're behind the cappuchino maker," I replied.
Silence fell. We slowly met each other's gaze. We did not say anything. We did not need to. Each read the other's unspoken thought: we had become those kinds of people, the kind of people who had sun-dried tomatoes and cappuchino makers, the kind of people who did Sunday brunch. In other words: southerners.'
A northerner in exile, stateless and confused and hearing rumours of Harvey Nichols in Leeds and Maseratis in Wilmslow, Stuart goes in search of The North. On a mission to discover where the cliches end and the truth begins, he travels from Wigan Pier to Blackpool Tower and from the Bigg Market in Newcastle to the Lake District to find his own Northern Soul, encountering along the way an exotic cast of Scousers, pie-eating woollybacks, topless Geordies, mad-for-it Mancs, Yorkshire nationalists and brothers in Southern exile.
"Witty and wise, with more good lines than the Angel of the North."
(Price & availability last checked: June 2018)
In booklists: Northern England, Travel Writing & Guides - Ireland, Wales, Scotland & England, In categories: Local Interest, Ireland, Scotland & Wales,