It’s 4 a.m. and Cathy Mason is watching dawn break over the Lovelace estate. By the end of the day, her community will be a crime scene. By the end of the week, her city will be on fire.
In this gripping thriller by Orange Prize-shortlisted author Gillian Slovo, ten unpredictable days of violence erupt from a stifling heatwave. And, as Westminster careers are being made or ruined, lives are at stake. Ten Days is about what happens when politics, policing and the hard realities of living in London collide.
Listen to extracts from the book by visiting Audible’s dedicated channel on Soundcloud.
Gillian Slovo is a playwright and the author of thirteen books, including five crime novels, the courtroom drama Red Dust, which was made into a feature film starring Hilary Swank and Chiwetel Ejiofor, and the Orange Prize-shortlisted Ice Road. She co-authored the play Guantanamo – Honor Bound to Defend Freedom, which was staged internationally. Her research for her play The Riots inspired Ten Days. Gillian Slovo was President of English PEN from 2010 to 2013 and is a fellow of the Royal Society of Literature. She was born in South Africa and lives in London.
“Stories from the Streets” is the central digital storytelling strand of Cityread London 2016 that will be launched on 1 April 2016.
This unique installation will see the creation of a ‘police control centre’ within Foyles bookshop’s central London gallery space, where visitors can interact with extracts taken from the first 72 hours of the Ten Days audiobook. Content will be ‘triggered’ by placing evidence relating to each scene onto a control desk panel, promoting audio and visual cues. A second area of the installation, modelled in part on the wooden hoardings that covered up broken shop windows in the 2011 London riots, will encourage messages from visitors to the gallery to contribute their own responses to the book and its themes, in what we hope will become a positive talking point about the value of fostering dialogue between communities.
Contributions from visitors will also feed into a ‘digital community hub’ on the Cityread website, launching 8 April. User-generated content via social media will merge with messages from supporters of the campaign to create an interactive ‘storyboard’ that will be the centre point of conversations around Cityread London. Audiences will be drawn into the scenarios faced by the book’s main characters, and ask how they would respond as the increasingly fraught events of the story unfold.
Portable versions of the installation dubbed ‘evidence booths’ – complete with audio content triggered by ‘evidence’ from the book – will tour around London libraries throughout the duration of the campaign, with week-long residencies planned in twelve locations.
The installation has been produced in partnership with Bristol-based Stand + Stare and creative director Jon Slack. Stand + Stare is the artistic collaboration of brother and sister Barney Heywood and Lucy Telling. From their Bristol studio, they create interactive exhibitions, installations and apps for a range of settings. They often incorporate tangible, real things, such as objects you can handle or books you flick through, which are enhanced through the use of digital technology. Clients include Carnegie Hall, The Royal Shakespeare Company, Museum of Science & Industry and Random House.
“A page turner intent on keeping you avidly on edge into the small hours” Metro
“Slovo takes the London riots of 2011 as her blueprint, but she moves beyond that… Rather brilliantly, she increases the tension” The Spectator
“A very readable, perhaps even rabble-rousing tale about a roused rabble and the water-cannon-firing ‘forces of law and order’”Literary Review
“Cracking … an acute indictment of the power play between politicians and police … Slovo’s subject matter could not be more prescient” Louise Doughty, The Guardian
“Ten Days tackles the dangers we all face when politics and policing collide. The result: an unputdownable Slovo read.” Shami Chakrabarti
An extraordinary novel – a page-turner thick with greed, ambition, love and secrets, and simultaneously an incisive portrayal of power and powerlessness in today’s Britain” Kamila Shamsie
“Ten days of tension, trouble and tough truths . . . a cracker” Val McDermid
“Sweeping in ambition and with a fine command of political and policing detail, this makes salutary, and alarming, reading.” Daily Mail