‘A brilliantly conceived and audacious novel from one of our most consistently intelligent and beguiling writers’ William Boyd
‘Surefooted and emotionally generous … A serious achievement’ Guardian
‘A revelation’ Spectator
The new novel from the Booker shortlisted author of The Northern Clemency
An order is issued. A population may not meet, or touch or speak to each other. They stay inside, and the reality of a few streets in a capital city emerges. An underground river is discovered; an urban grove of pomeloes emerges. The imagination reaches out, and makes sense of the world. By the sea, two men walk into a future of uncertain violence.
There is time now to see the human dramas within a hundred yards (an abduction, a quiet breakdown, an outbreak of violence, a young mind beginning to stretch itself); to wait for the weather to change; to understand that what lies underneath this part of the city are seasonally wet pastures and woodlands.
Written in four parts, To Battersea Park explores the strata and sediment of a single place and time. It shows what brings us together, through love, through the clashes of what we want to do and what the world wants to do with us. Set in a large crowded city where we are forbidden to approach strangers, this is about what we share: humanity, imagination, and the love that emerges from many acts of telling.
‘Electrifying … works like this… allow the imagination to roam free and wild’ Observer
‘Wise, ingenious and passionate’ TLS
‘Magnificently succeeds in excavating the sedimentary layers of a neighbourhood in lockdown to reveal – hilariously, tenderly, shockingly – how we exist both in intimacy and ignorance of those we live among’ Financial Times
‘An engrossing human drama’ The Times
‘An imaginative tour de force’ Mick Herron, author of Bad Actors
‘An utterly engrossing skein of narratives, beautifully written and often disturbing’ Lissa Evans, author of V for Victory
About the author
Philip Hensher has written eleven novels, including The Mulberry Empire, the Booker shortlisted The Northern Clemency, King of the Badgers, Scenes from Early Life, which won the Ondaatje Prize in 2012, The Friendly Ones and A Small Revolution in Germany. He is Professor of Creative Writing at the University of Bath Spa and lives in south London and Geneva.