Divided into four sections, the author of The Northern Clemency delivers a richly textured exploration of a bustling city when social interaction is suddenly curtailed and how tiny dramas and forgotten landscapes are revealed afresh.
An order is issued. A population may not meet, or touch or speak to each other. They stay inside, and the reality of a few streets in a capital city emerges. An underground river is discovered; an urban grove of pomeloes emerges. The imagination reaches out, and makes sense of the world. By the sea, two men walk into a future of uncertain violence.
There is time now to see the human dramas within a hundred yards (an abduction, a quiet breakdown, an outbreak of violence, a young mind beginning to stretch itself); to wait for the weather to change; to understand that what lies underneath this part of the city are seasonally wet pastures and woodlands.
Written in four parts, To Battersea Park explores the strata and sediment of a single place and time. It shows what brings us together, through love, through the clashes of what we want to do and what the world wants to do with us. Set in a large crowded city where we are forbidden to approach strangers, this is about what we share: humanity, imagination, and the love that emerges from many acts of telling.