Edited by Kavita Bhanot
Few cities have undergone such a radical transformation over the last few decades as Birmingham. Culturally and architecturally, it has been in a state of perpetual flux and regeneration, with new communities moving in, then out, and iconic post-war landmarks making way for brighter-coloured, 21st century flourishes. Much like the city itself, the characters in the stories gathered here are often living through moments of profound change, closing in on a personal or societal turning point, that carries as much threat as it does promise.
Set against key moments of history – from Malcolm X’s visit to Smethwick in 1965, to the Handsworth riots two decades later, from the demise of the city’s manufacturing in the 70s and 80s, to the on-going tensions between communities in recent years – these stories celebrate the cultural dynamism that makes this complex, often divided ‘second city’ far more than just the sum of its parts.
‘Beautiful and stunning and intimate …’
“Sharon Duggal read first from her story, Seep… Oh it just put me exactly in the room with her fish out of water protagonists, it was beautiful and stunning and intimate and beyond it foretold of the thrills and spills ahead which I can only contemplate from afar now. I was actually excitedly transported far into her world.” – OutsideLeft