Tuesday, March 26, 2019

Five top books exploring Britain’s island mentality

Madeleine Bunting was for many years a columnist for the Guardian, which she joined in 1990. Born in North Yorkshire, Bunting read History at Cambridge and Politics at Harvard. She is the author of several works of nonfiction and a new novel, Island Song.

At the Guardian Bunting tagged five books exploring Britain’s island mentality, including:
Islands have a tendency to be self-referential, even small minded, a point made by both Andrea Levy and Bill Bryson, in their titles for books on Britain (Small Island and Notes from a Small Island). Perhaps my favourite of this island literature is the haunting Concrete Island by JG Ballard. An island is much more than a geographical entity: it can be a state of mind, or one can suddenly be marooned by an unexpected turn of events, so that islands lurk in many shapes and situations, even in the heart of a city. An architect is driving home when his car crashes and plunges into wasteland, where he is trapped. As he searches for escape, water and food, he discovers he is not alone and the feeling of danger builds ... After reading this, no journey over a spaghetti junction has ever been quite the same; I find myself gripping the steering wheel tightly.
Read about another entry on the list.

--Marshal Zeringue