9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars
A fantastic celebration of diversity, 6 Sept. 2007
It would be easy to think - after Monica Ali's and the raft of more contemporary artist/designer/DJ books and articles, that Brick Lane was a street capable of being viewed from a single cultural perspective. In this fascinating, comprehensive and ultimately, very real book, Rachel Lichtenstein proves conclusively that it simply cannot.
As she gathers together faces from all immigrant populations and juxtaposes them with the stories of their offspring, and the more recent immigrants (the artists/designers/DJs), Lichtenstein does not try to make order from the chaos of Brick Lane's recent history. Rather, she celebrates diversity, perspective and the multiple facets of this long street with its equally long history. The result is complex, fascinating and completely absorbing. Perhaps most of all, the stories come from the mouths of her range of interviewees, making it very, very real.
I believe she is going to use the same technique next to document Hatton Garden. Can't wait.