A book titled Lovers and Strangers lies on a table beside a set of keys

Lovers and Strangers: An Immigrant History of Post-War Britain by Clair Wills. Photo: Simeon Barclay

Artist Simeon Barclay’s exhibition at the South London Gallery, In the Name of the Father (23 Sep – 27 Nov 2022) explores questions of legacy, identity, and masculinity, through the lens of the father son relationship. To coincide with the show, Barclay has shared his top picks from the South London Gallery Bookshop that touch on themes relating to the exhibition and his interests.

The Place is Here, edited by Elizabeth Robles and Nick Aikens
The Place Is Here (2016-19), traces the urgent and wide-ranging conversations taking place between black artists, writers, and thinkers in Britain during the 1980s. Within the context of Thatcherism and a racist art establishment.

Lovers and Strangers, by Clair Wills

Drawing on an amazing array of unusual and surprising sources, Clair Wills brings to life the incredible diversity and strangeness of the migrant experience.

The Presentation of Self in Everyday Life, by Erving Goffman

Regarded as one of the defining works of twentieth-century sociology, The Presentation of Self in Everyday Life is a revelatory analysis of how we present ourselves to others.

The Ministry of Nostalgia, by Owen Hatherly

The Ministry of Nostalgia is a brisk and bracing polemic about Britain’s relationship with its recent history . Any successful political project must address itself to what’s needed right now. Keeping calm and carrying on is about the worst possible response.” – Richard Godwin for the Evening Standard

The Fateful Triangle, by Stuart Hall

Drawn from lectures delivered at Harvard University in 1994, Stuart Hall reflects on the divisive, often deadly consequences of our contemporary politics of race and identity.

Culture and Society, by Raymond Williams

Thought of, as perhaps the masterpiece of materialist criticism in the English language, Culture and Society explores British literary history from George Eliot to George Orwell to inquire about the complex ways economic reality shapes the imagination.

Walls Come Tumbling Down, by Daniel Rachel

Walls Come Tumbling Down charts the pivotal period between 1976 and 1992 that saw politics and pop music come together for the first time in Britain’s musical history. Composed of interviews with over a hundred and fifty of the key players at the time, this is a fascinating, polyphonic and authoritative account of those important years in Britain’s history.

The Northern Question – A History of a Divided Country, by Tom Hazeldine

The Northern Question is a history of England seen in the unfamiliar light of a northern perspective. Tom Hazeldine recounts how governments put finance before manufacturing, London ahead of the regions, and austerity before reconstruction.

“Tom Hazeldine shows that far from being marginal to British politics and culture, northern England has played a pivotal role in British history – and must be given serious consideration by the politicians of the future. Well-written and absorbing.” – Selina Todd, author of Tastes of Honey and The People

Life After Dark: A History of British Nightclubs & Music Venues, by Dave Haslam

In Life After Dark Dave Haslam reveals and celebrates a definitive history of significant nightclubs and music venues and great nights out. Writing with passion and authority, he takes the reader on a journey from vice-ridden Victorian dance halls to acid house and beyond.

The Lonely Londoners, by Sam Selvon

The Lonely Londoners is an unforgettable account of immigrant experience. Considered one of the great twentieth-century London novels, Selvon tells the story of new arrivals from the West Indies starting afresh in 1950s England.

Huddersfield and Halifax 1960s–70s by Dragon Novaković

Photographer Dragon Novaković moved to London from Belgrade in 1968. His documentary street photography captured London and Northern England in the 70s, taken with Leica and Pentax film cameras.


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Want to know what other artists are reading? Take a look at what Céline Condorelli and film maker Ben Rivers recommended.

Find the South London Gallery Bookshop at the heart of the gallery in Peckham. Our store is committed to highlighting underrepresented authors, independent publishers and championing reading across all ages.

Simeon Barclay: In the Name of the Father is at the South London Gallery from 23 September – 27 November 2022.

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<p><em>The Fateful Triangle</em>, by Stuart Hall. Photo: Simeon Barclay</p>

The Fateful Triangle, by Stuart Hall. Photo: Simeon Barclay