You People

Clare Bucknell writes:

A t  Pizzeria  Vesuvio, somewhere in South London in 2003, the difference between being a chef and being a waitress isn’t just professional. Nia and Ava, who work front of house, are British and European, white or – in Nia’s case – white-looking; Shan, Guna and Rajan in the kitchen are Sri Lankan Tamils, refugees from the civil war working illegally while they wait for their asylum applications to be processed. Behind the bar, a ‘dark portal’ leads up to the first-floor flat where the chefs ‘seal themselves off’ to sleep every night after their shifts; in emergencies, when the police come knocking, they disappear through the back door of the kitchen and clamber over the low brick wall outside, while Nia and Ava keep the officers talking in the restaurant.

(LRB 30 Jul 2020)

Blog posts, bestseller lists, reading guides and updates from the collective staff of the London Review Bookshop.

Speaking as a single entity isn't always straightforward; each of our booksellers takes pride in their eclectic reading tastes, their specific areas of expertise and their personal literary foibles. We've had some vehement disagreements about Dickens and nobody can agree on who should have won the Booker Prize. But ...

Other Titles of Interest