LONGLISTED FOR THE GORDON BURN PRIZE 2017
A hauntingly beautiful social history of the Thames Estuary, from the author of On Brick Lane
Out at the eastern edge of England, between land and ocean, you will find beautiful, haunted salt marshes, coastal shallows and wide-open skies: the Thames Estuary. The estuary is an ancient gateway to England, a passage for numberless travellers in and out of London. And for generations, the people of Kent and Essex have lived and worked on the Estuary, learning its waters, losing loved ones to its deeps. Their heritage is a proud but never an easy one. In the face of a world changing around them, they endure.
Rachel Lichtenstein spent five years exploring this unique community and recording its extraordinary chorus of voices, present and past. From mud larkers and fishermen to radio pirates and champion racers, from buried princesses to unexploded bombs, Estuary is a celebration of a haunting & profoundly British place.
Rachel Lichtenstein is the author of Estuary as well as Rodinsky's Room (co-authored with Iain Sinclair), Rodinsky's Whitechapel, Keeping Pace, A Little Dust Whispered, On Brick Lane, and Diamond Street. She trained as a sculptor, and has exhibited her work in several British and international venues, including the Whitechapel Gallery, the Barbican, the British Library, Woodstreet Galleries in Pittsburgh in the USA, and the Jerusalem Theatre in Israel. From 2002 to 2004, she was the British Library's first Pearson Creative Research Fellow.