‘Capital’ city: London, contemporary British fiction and the credit crunch

Katy Shaw

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The emerging genre of ‘Crunch Lit’ uses fiction to respond to the 2007-8 credit crisis. Focusing on different layers of city life, Faulks' A Week in December (2009) and Lanchester's Capital (2012) offer socio economic cross sections of corporate architecture and town housing to generate new definitions of ‘capital’ cities. This article explores representations of a two world London in these novels, a capital jointly populated by those who run, and those who service city space. Offering insider views on the city - of ordinary houses now multi-million pound homes, and shifts in residence from frugal respectable citizens to decadent debauched traders – these fictions foreground the breakdown of communities and emotional connections which occur as a result of the financial crisis. Representing financial architecture and minority invisibility, the article examines how and why Faulks’ A Week in December (2009) and Lanchester’s Capital (2012) offer the city as a lens through which to read the wider world.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)44-53
Number of pages10
JournalThe Literary London Journal
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 14 Jul 2014

Bibliographical note

© 2014 Katy Shaw


  • architecture
  • contemporary novel
  • credit crunch
  • finance
  • London


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