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I was inspired by Dickens’ writing about city: Taylor

Bhavya Dore, Hindustan Times  Mumbai, February 07, 2012
First Published: 02:41 IST(7/2/2012) | Last Updated: 02:42 IST(7/2/2012)

Eighty five different voices jostle together in the telling of a city story in writer Craig Taylor’s new book ‘Londoners: The Days and Nights of London Now — As Told by Those Who Love It, Hate It, Live It, Left It and Long for It’. They can all, in some way be traced back to one voice: Charles Dickens.


Taylor, a Canadian-born, London-based writer, is in Mumbai to speak on the occasion of Dickens’ bicentenary. “I was inspired by his writing and his methodology of writing about the city by listening to the people,” said Taylor.

Taylor will be in conversation with Mitra Mukherjee-Parikh, head of the English department at SNDT University, on a writer’s relationship with the city as part of the Kala Ghoda Festival on Tuesday.

“One of the challenges is that cities are enormous and you could get lost,” said Taylor.

Dickens was one of the original chroniclers of a London that was bustling, industrialising and growing in the middle of the 19th century. The talk is one among others events part of the Dickens bicentenary.

“Dickens was one of the primary figures through which the entire journey of city narratives began 200 years ago,” said Mukherjee-Parikh. “In our conversation I hope to draw out a comparative encounter with Taylor’s work and the way he has captured the city.”

The British Council has also organised film screenings of four films based on Dickens’ novels at the festival. They are also organising a national-level creative writing competition for writers between the ages of 16 and 21 years to submit a piece of work inspired by Dickens.

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