It seems to me that the labyrinthine roads in our Borough are disproportionally populated with writers and artists. One of the most original and talented voices is Teddington novelist Lavie Tida. He grew up on a kibbutz in Israel and in South Africa; he is the author of Osama (2011), The Violent Century (2013), the Jerwood Fiction Uncovered Prize winning A Man Lies Dreaming (2014), the Campbell Award winning Central Station (2016), and Unholy Land (2018). His children’s novel Candy came out in 2018, published by Scholastic. His latest novel is By Force Alone (2020), and his comics mini-series Adler is publishing in 2020. My personal favourite by Tidar is the dark poetry of A Man Lies Dreaming (2014), which combines, crime, noir, science fiction, historical and autobiographical material to tell the story of pulp fiction writer, Shomer, who to escape his brutal life in Auschwitz dreams of another world in London. Shomer imagines himself as private detective Wolf, who makes a meagre living as a PI wandering the seedy and dank streets of London’s Soho. Tidar’s story within a story juxtaposes a realist account of the Holocaust and a crime narrative to produce a masterful collision of literary genres: a whip smart novel of its own kind.
Lavie Tidar, A Man Lies Dreaming (Hodder & Stoughton, 2014).
Dr Richard Mills is Senior Lecturer in Literature and Popular Culture at St Mary’s University, Twickenham.