Hampstead, Bloomsbury, yeah fine. But what is the area in London which speaks of now in a literary kind of way?
There isn't one I'm afraid. You might want to claim the revitalised Soho cafe scene, or clubby Camden, perhaps, but these areas are at least as famous for other art forms as the novel.
What future trends in London fiction do you predict, oh LondonNet oracle?
Two contradictory ones. On the one hand we'll see more and more specific and localised novels; on the other there will be more portentous tomes aiming to figure London's place in the world, universe and so on.
What is a 'Hampstead' novel?
It's an often pejorative term handed to usually slow, self-consciously intellectual, dinner party novels which emanate from a back scratching group of writers, some of whom reside in Hampstead. Typical plot line would go: Middle-aged man realises he is bored stiff with life. Tries something new (e.g. an affair, drugs, crime etc.) to spice things up a bit but comes to long winded conclusion that all alternatives are boring and he might as well find solace back on square one.
What's the wackiest London novel you've come across?
How about Monica Grant's The Ragga and the Royal, an extraordinary fantasy in which Princess Diana gets hip to Jungle, Ragga and one particularly delicious DJ.