Will this help Lewisham’s bid to be London borough of culture?
Fiona Mozley, 29, just announced as one of the short-listed authors for this year’s Man Booker Prize, was living with five friends in Honor Oak Park when she wrote her debut novel.
She gained inspiration for the book, Elmet, when travelling on the train from York to London and she wrote the first chapter before pulling into King’s Cross. Much of it was written as she commuted between London and York. She kept its existence secret from her flatmates at the time.
Described by one reviewer as “a wonder to behold”, the book is up against five other novels, including Autumn by Ali Smith.
Although the setting for the novel is Yorkshire, it was fuelled in SE23, where Mozley was based while working as an intern at a literary agency a few years ago.
Now based in York, she described her life at the time of the book’s inception in an interview with the Evening Standard in July when the longlist was announced:
“I was finding London life difficult – the strain of the capital was taking hold.
“I was living for the next pay cheque and at a loose end. I didn’t know what career I was going to have or where I was going to live in the next year.”
“I feel no one can say anything these days without bringing up politics, but this book does touch on a community left behind.