The Manchester Literature Festival Blog
#MCRreads no. 2: Ashley
Our series of interviews with readers spotted around Manchester continues…
Who: Ashley, visiting Manchester from Colorado (we don’t only accost Americans, honest.)
Where: North Tea Power
What book: The Gangs of Manchester by Andrew Davies
“I just bought this. I was with a friend of mine who picked it up and said ‘when I was a kid I wanted to be a Scuttler.’ He grew up in Blackley, it’s a pretty rough and tumble area. It’s a part of Manchester’s history I’d never heard about, so I wanted to learn a little bit about it. As an outsider, you always hear about Manchester as the home of the Industrial Revolution, but I wasn’t aware how much gang violence there was in the Victorian era.
The last really good book I read? Orange is the New Black: My Year in a Women’s Prison by Piper Kerman, which the television series is loosely based on. It gives you a look at the human side of prison and the inefficiencies of the US prison system, the cruelty of it and how messed up the criminal justice system is there.
I love Manchester, but I didn’t see a lot of different areas of the city when I was here as a student. I’d always thought of Manchester as really safe, but the bus ride between here and Blackley… well, I guess I’m seeing that it has a dark side, an underbelly. But I’ve spent a lot of time in London and I’ve found people here to be much more down to earth than Londoners. My favorite thing about Manchester is definitely the people.”
You can take part in our MCRreads campaign by tweeting or posting a photo of yourself reading a book, using the hashtag #MCRreads. We’ll retweet the photos and our favourite each week wins a book by an #MLF14 author.