Iain Sinclair: Downriver

(1605 words)
  • David Cunningham (University of Westminster)

Published in 1991, Downriver: (Or, The Vessels of Wrath) was Iain Sinclair's second novel, following White Chappell, Scarlet Tracings (1987). The book went on to win the James Tait Memorial Prize and Encore Award, and tends to be regarded by most commentators as his finest work to date. Centred, as usual, upon the landscape, history and mythology of London, the novel is subtitled A Narrative in Twelve Tales and records a series of linked journeys around a surreally distorted city written in the first person voice of a narrator called “Iain Sinclair”.

Continuing on from the contemporary setting of his first novel in the world of bookdealing, Downriver begins with a trip to an undiscovered b…

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Cunningham, David. "Downriver". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 27 November 2002
[http://www.litencyc.com/php/sworks.php?rec=true&UID=5531, accessed 25 September 2016.]