24 May 2008

Emanuel Litvinoff’s Journey Through a Small Planet

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‘When I was nineteen the whole world flashed around my ears, all my false standards of values crumbled, everything that I had been sure of – the touch and quality of stone, the meaning of eating and sleeping and suffering, the texture of civilisation, all collapsed and left me in darkness. The world no longer existed. I was dead in some nightmarish way. . .’

–Emanuel Litvinoff to his younger brother Barnet, 9 July 1940.


Together with Litvinoff, his son Aaron and his wife Mary, I’ve recently finished working on a new edition of this remarkable portrait of London’s Jewish East End in the early twentieth century. The book includes previously unpublished writing by Litvinoff himself,  and I have written an 11,500 word introduction to Litvinoff’s life as a writer and campaigner,  entitled ‘Brick Lane: Views from the Quayside’. It was published as a Penguin Modern Classic on 7 August 2008.


EL returns to Brick Lane for the first publication of Journey in 1972

Find at Amazon.co.uk»  Read reviews»

Listen to Livinoff

In 1995, and thanks to the radio producer John Goudie, I recorded a 30 minute discussion with Emanuel Litvinoff, which was transmitted as a special edition of BBC Radio Three’s ‘Night Waves’ (my first ever, as I recall) on 4 April 1995.  Hear an mp3 of this discussion here»  Download transcript(pdf)»

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This entry was posted on Saturday, May 24th, 2008 at 3:41 pm and is filed under Articles in Books, London, News and Previews (past). You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.