Paperback review: Up the Junction, By Neil Dunn
Saturday 31 August 2013
Nell Dunn's Up the Junction, a set of loosely linked vignettes of working-class London, caught a cultural mood when it was first published in 1963.
But this is no straightforward swinging-Sixties romp: Dunn's narrator is only half in love with the bright lights of the city, and ultimately more interested in documenting the harsh realities of poverty and back-street abortions in the Battersea slums. What's striking at this distance is not so much Dunn's frank depiction of female promiscuity – which caused quite a stir at the time – but her distinctive, pared-down style: the sketches are dialogue-heavy, interspersed with lyrics from pop songs and the odd potent descriptive phrase: "Great gusts of black smoke blow sideways out of the four chimneys of Fulham gasworks … the sky splits and black rain bounces off the river."
Ray Davies' Sunny Afternoon scoops the most awardsTheatre
Grace DentChannel 4 show proves there's no app for happiness
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 Rarest Beanie Baby of them all could be sold for £62,500 on eBay
- 2 Ben Affleck asked TV chiefs to hide slave-owning ancestry, new hacked Sony emails published by Wikileaks claim
- 3 Driving while dehydrated can be just as dangerous as drink driving, study suggests
- 4 Farmer told to tear down mock-Tudor castle after hiding construction behind hay bales
- 5 One Direction: Louis Tomlinson launching his own record label, has already 'signed two acts'
Better Call Saul creator Peter Gould on the creative concerns of a prequel, season 2 and the mind-numbing realities of the small courts
Britain's Got Talent 2015: RSPCA investigating Marc Metral's miming dog after cruelty complaints
One Direction: Louis Tomlinson launching his own record label, has already 'signed two acts'
Tidal CEO leaves Jay Z's music streaming service only a month after it launched
Star Wars 7: The Force Awakens: Luke Skywalker actor Mark Hamill admits he was suspicious of 'Star Trek guy' JJ Abrams
If I’m being racially abused I don’t need a stranger with a saviour complex to rescue me
The only black face in the Ukip manifesto is on the page about overseas aid
Ukip is the only main political party to not address LGBT rights in its manifesto
Food banks: One million Britons will soon be using them, according to Trussell Trust
Religion isn't growing, it is becoming vigorous in its demise, says philosopher AC Grayling
BBC election debate: The one photo that summed up the whole 90-minute leaders debate