To Battersea Park

Hensher, Philip

The new novel from the Booker shortlisted author of The Northern Clemency.

When a pandemic strikes, and a country’s whole population is told to close the doors and stay inside, the reality of a few streets in a capital city emerges. An underground river is discovered; an urban grove of trees emerges. There is time now to see the human dramas within a hundred yards (an abduction, a quiet breakdown, an outbreak of violence); 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 our shared humanity, and the understanding offered by many acts of telling.