Strange Labyrinth: Outlaws, Poets, Mystics, Murderers and a Coward in London’s Great Forest

Will Ashon


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  • Granta Books
  • 2017
  • ISBN 9781783783434
  • 416 pages
  • Hardcover
  • 22.1 × 14.2 × 3.2 cm

In litter-strewn Epping Forest on the edge of London, might a writer find that magical moment of transcendence? He will certainly discover filthy graffiti and frightening dogs, as well as world-renowned artists and fading celebrities, robbers, lovers, ghosts and poets. But will he find himself? Or a version of himself he might learn something from?

Strange Labyrinth is a quest narrative arguing that we shouldn’t get lost in order to find ourselves, but solely to accept that we are lost in the first place. It is a singular blend of landscape writing, political indignation, cultural history and wit from a startling new voice in non-fiction.

Strange Labyrinth has been billed as a future cult classic in which landscape writing meets punk history, academic troublemaking, psychogeography and memoir. Having worked as a music journalist, Will Ashon founded the record label Big Dada Recordings in 1996, signing acts like Roots Manuva, Wiley, Diplo, Kate Tempest and Young Fathers and, in the process, winning the Mercury Music Prize twice.