Uncle Solly’s World
My favourite desk stood between tall shelves crammed with Bengali, Somali and Urdu classics, which had replaced the Yiddish collection. Here, I read my way through all the history books and memoirs on east London. These included an extensive collection of ‘Cor-Blimey-There’s-Nothing-Like-a-Knees-Up!’ autobiographies, and the ‘Dodgy Geezers that I ’ave Known’ genre, but thankfully, there were more thoughtful accounts on offer. Among them, I discovered Emanuel Litvinoff ’s Journey Through a Small Planet – a masterpiece that rivals George Orwell’s best non fiction. In fact it was to inspire me to write my own account of life on Brick Lane.