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Salaam Brick Lane: A Year in the New East End by Tarquin Hall

After 10 years living abroad, Tarquin Hall wanted to return to his native London. Lured by his nostalgia for a leafy suburban childhood spent in south-west London, he returned with his Indian-born, American fiancee in tow. But, priced out of the housing market, they found themselves living not in a townhouse, oozing Victorian charm, but in a squalid attic above a Bangladeshi sweatshop on London's Brick Lane. A grimy skylight provided the only window on their new world—a filthy, noisy street where drug dealers and prostitutes peddled their wares and tramps urinated on the pavements. Yet, as Hall got to know Brick Lane, he discovered beneath its unlovely surface an inner world where immigrants and asylum seekers struggle to better themselves and dream of escape. Salaam Brick Lane is a journey of discovery by an outsider in his own native city.

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