Scarp, By Nick Papadimitriou

 

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The Independent Culture

Fans of Macfarlane, Sebald or Sinclair may feel they don't need the company of another lyrical urban walker. Think again.

Scarp is a scuffed jewel of a book. It isn't just because this reviewer grew up in the same scorned suburbs of north London that he loved these haunted treks across the upland "scarp" from Stanmore to Southgate.

To the spiky poetry of nature at the city's edge, and fragments of lurid history, Papadimitriou adds piercing shards of family memory. His walks wrench beauty from a past scarred by exile, poverty and despair.

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