Author’s sketches of Hackney life

Jeremy Worman reading from his latest book 'Fragmented' Photo: Sabine Schereck

Jeremy Worman tells East London Lines about his personal history of Hackney. The author has produced a selection of short stories about the borough that combine glimpses of local history and his own personal, touching anecdotes.

‘Fragmented’ traces Jeremy Worman’s life, from settling in Hackney in the 1970s, through to the present day.

He told East London Lines that ‘Fragmented’ was the result of his attempts to produce fresh writing about the capital.

“I wanted to do something Londony, but I wanted to do it differently and in my way. I also wanted to be honest about myself and I found that difficult in a long form, so I chose this short form.”

In ‘Me and my Baby in London Fields’, published in ‘Fragmented’, he wrote: “Through St. John’s Churchyard we splosh, the umbrella veering dangerously in the west wind.”

“The leaves of the London plane trees are thick on the ground, shades of yellow and red mix with sweet packets and McDonald’s cartons, but Mefanwy and I forgive all litter today.”

Having lived in Hackney for over 30 years, Worman has not only developed a soft spot for the borough, but also witnessed its history.

He explained that in the 1970s “all hopes of a hippy vision died!”. London “was less fun than it is now and more divided by class and race.”

Now, Worman feels Hackney is much cleaner and a more welcoming area.

“It has become a more integrated place and happier with itself; generally it feels more creative and comfortable than it used to be, although, it is still an edgy place.”

One reason for the borough being this way, Worman observes, is that it absorbs every kind of person.

“People who are outsiders often find an interesting home there. It is the most exciting and stimulating place to be,” he said.

His appreciation of time and place is also a major feature in his narrations as he tries “to combine historical content with personal content.”

This fragmented style of writing curiously reflects the 21st century very well, considering the many facets our post-modern life now has.

This makes Worman’s collection of stories contemporary, enlightening and entertaining.

The bookshop Pages of Hackney is hosting a reading of Fragmented by Jeremy Worman on Thursday, May 12.

To reserve a place call Pages of Hackney 020 85 25 14 52.

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