3 of 5 stars.
Over time, the life stages of an urban neighborhood become apparent: birth, decay, rebirth and gentrification. It’s an evolution of sorts–all too clear for those raised in a neighborhood and then away for a hefty period of time. The nostalgia of revisiting the old neighborhood is tempered by the inevitable change for the better or worse.
This tale is a memoir and a homecoming. The author has returned to the Walworth neighborhood in London where he spent his childhood. Now he’s been away in America for the better part of a decade and the loss and gain of businesses and his personal landmarks confronts him. His childhood best friend has now become a Big Man On Campus in this new-old neighborhood. As his friend is a writer who writes about their neighborhood, the friend is partially responsible for the perceptual shift there. The friend’s central position in Walworth also reveals to what extent the outsider has erased his own connection to his childhood.
This tale appears in the anthology An Unreliable Guide to London by Influx Press, London. I received my copy of this anthology directly from one of the contributing authors through bookreviewdirectory.wordpress.com.
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