Isolarion: A Different Oxford Journey (Paperback)
  • Isolarion: A Different Oxford Journey (Paperback)
zoom

Isolarion: A Different Oxford Journey (Paperback)

(author)
£9.99
Paperback 400 Pages / Published: 26/02/2009
  • In stock online

Usually dispatched within 24 hours

  • This item has been added to your basket
Your local Waterstones may have stock of this item. Please check by using Click & Collect
Through the centuries, people from all walks of life have heard the siren call of a pilgrimage, the lure to journey away from the familiar in search of understanding. But is a pilgrimage even possible these days for city-dwellers enmeshed in the pressures of work and family life? Or is there a way to be a pilgrim without leaving one's life behind? James Attlee answers these questions with Isolarion, a thoughtful, streetwise, and personal account of his own pilgrimage to a place he thought he already knew - the Cowley Road in Oxford, right outside his door. Isolarion takes its title from a type of fifteenth-century map that isolates an area in order to present it in detail, and that's what Attlee, sharp-eyed and armed with tape recorder and notebook, provides for Cowley Road. The former site of a leper hospital, a workhouse, and a medieval well said to have miraculous healing powers, Cowley Road has little to do with the dreaming spires of the tourist's or student's Oxford. What Attlee presents instead is a thoroughly modern, impressively cosmopolitan, and utterly organic collection of shops, restaurants, pubs, and religious establishments teeming with life and reflecting the multicultural makeup of the surrounding neighbourhood. From a sojourn in a sensory-deprivation tank to a furtive visit to an unmarked pornography emporium, Attlee investigates every aspect of the Cowley Road's appealingly eclectic culture, where halal shops jostle with craft jewelers and reggae clubs pulsate alongside quiet churchyards. But the very diversity that is, for Attlee, the essence of Cowley Road's appeal is under attack from well-meaning city planners and predatory developers. His pilgrimage is thus invested with melancholy: will the messy glories of the Cowley Road be lost to creeping homogenization?

Publisher: Transworld Publishers Ltd
ISBN: 9780552775236
Number of pages: 400
Weight: 280 g
Dimensions: 198 x 128 x 24 mm


MEDIA REVIEWS
"The attraction, for Attlee, is that the Cowley Road 'is both unique and nothing special'; the resulting book is unique and very special. . . . Residents of East Oxford can be proud to have this eccentric advocate and eloquent explorer in their midst" * Guardian *
"A gem...James Attlee's scholarly, reflective and sympathetic journey up the Cowley Road ...blends a vivid account of daily life, fluid and unsettling, in a modern British town with powerful allegorical reflections on the connections between past and present, time and space, and high culture and the hard scrabble world that sustains it" * Economist *
"Attlee paints an iridescent picture of a new Oxford that no guide book has yet captured" * New York Times *
"Exploring the multicultural and richly layered landscape on his doorstep, he proves that good travel writing is not about where you go, or how you go there, but the way that you look at the world that you pass through" * Sunday Telegraph *

You may also be interested in...

Oxford University Pocket Diary 2018-2019
Added to basket
Oxford Street Atlas
Added to basket
The Power of Women
Added to basket
£5.00
Paperback
Her Frozen Heart
Added to basket
£7.99
Paperback
Gruesome Guide to Oxford
Added to basket
Banbury, Bicester and Chipping Norton
Added to basket
Abingdon, Wantage and Vale of White Horse
Added to basket
Oxford City Guide - English
Added to basket
In The Dark
Added to basket
£7.99   £5.99
Paperback
Exploring Midsomer
Added to basket
£12.99
Paperback
Oxford Mini Map
Added to basket
£2.95
Sheet map, folded
The Clockmaker's Daughter
Added to basket
£18.99   £9.49
Hardback
Oxford Colleges
Added to basket
£5.95
Hardback

Reviews

Please sign in to write a review

Your review has been submitted successfully.