Tuesday, 14 August 2012


After a lengthy summit meeting in a Methodist Chapel cafe in Leicester today, editors/writers Gillian Darley and David McKie and a senior management figure from Five Leaves Towers came up with this title for our forthcoming book on the maverick topographer, the late Ian Nairn. Mostly we walked round in circles trying to find a peaceful cafe, ideally one as beautiful as the Leicester Turkey Cafe (pictured) but open during the day. The rest of the meeting passed amicably, but we were stuck for a sub-title. Maverick and topography are good words, but more for the back cover. Architecture is a killer word for a cover as it reduces the potential readership by 99%. A celebration? Not if I can help it. Enthusiast? Thumbs down. Observer - that he was. A polemicist. A writer too. Isn't everyone? So we parted, without a sub-title. Perhaps you can help. The book won't be completed for a year, and is due out around November 2013 but having a sub-title will help immensely so we can brief a cover designer and bring in other contributors. Any sensible idea will be considered, and any on our shortlist will win a copy of the book when published.
More information? Gillian D. is the author of Villages of Vision, David Mc. is currently working on a book about surnames (alas, for a different publisher - but see his chapter in our Maps anthology). And Nairn? If you don't remember him he was indeed all of the things mentioned above. A quick google search will reveal more of course, but meantime here he is on television, completely mispronouncing the name of my hometown of Hawick: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h3H6XtYTx24. We are planning essays on London, Nairn's broadcasting, Britain from the air, Nairn in American, on the man himself, his influence today, and others.
Add a comment if you have any suggestions.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

writing the spirit of place

subtopia vs the spirit of place