Top 5 books about multicultural London, chosen by Ania Bas

Artist and writer Ania Bas selects five books about the UK capital’s melting pot of cultures.

1. White Teeth by Zadie Smith

An epic story told through the eyes of complex and compelling characters, mostly first and second-generation immigrants from the Commonwealth. It has cross-cultural friendship at its heart and will
make you laugh out loud. 

2. Home Fire by Kamila Shamsie

This masterful reimagining of Sophocles’ Antigone tells the tragic story of three British Muslim siblings. Narrated through multiple points of view, it’s a fierce, unforgettable read about the collision of love, family and politics.

3. Disobedience by Naomi Alderman

Set in modern-day Hendon, this tells the story of a disobedient daughter from a strict Jewish Orthodox family who is returning home. Be prepared to salivate as food and its preparation is deliciously executed.

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Odd Hours by Ania Bas is out now

4. Queenie by Candice Carty-Williams

Queenie, a young British-Jamaican woman is having the worst time – break-ups, bad random sex and crashing self-esteem. I loved the humour, wit and the grand tour of a fast-changing South London observed by a compelling millennial protagonist. 

5. The Exhibitionist by Charlotte Mendelson

The expansive north London home of the Irish Hanrahan family is a decaying stage on which Ray, a painter convinced of his own greatness, controls and manipulates his wife and grown-up children. A masterful observation of the privileged corners of the art world: power dynamics, narcissistic tendencies and ego-boosting exhibitions.

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