Gabriel Krauze: Who They Was

Gabriel Krauze: Who They Was

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Who They Was is an urgent and electrifying work of autofiction: the first-hand account of a young man who has lived a life of violent crime, and who expresses it boldly, accurately, and at times even beautifully.

This is a story of a London you won't find in any guidebooks.

This is a story about what it's like to exist in the moment, about boys too eager to become men, growing up in the hidden war zones of big cities - and the girls trying to make it their own way.

This is a story of reputations made and lost, of violence and vengeance - and never counting the cost.

This is a story of concrete towers and blank eyed windows, of endless nights in police stations and prison cells, of brotherhood and betrayal.

This is about the boredom, the rush, the despair, the fear and the hope.

This is about what's left behind.

'Arrives on the literary scene like the sound of gunfire [...] The bristling energy of this hood-life tell-all ultimately flows not only from its ultra-violent vernacular swagger, but from the more subterranean pressure of a family dynamic kept just out of view.'

The Guardian