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The Corner Shop : shopkeepers, the sharmas and the making of modern Britain

Sharma, Babita2020
I've seen you on a Sunday morning, nipping out to get a pint of milk or to grab a newspaper. I came to know a lot about you; whether your politics leaned to the right or left, whether you were gay or straight, and whether you were plagued by cash-flow problems or had enough disposable income to indulge your penchant for Cadbury's Creme Eggs. I don't work for the secret services, nor do I have special access to you and your family's data. I come from a hidden world: I am the daughter of shopkeepers. From the general stores of the first half of the 20th century (one of which was run by the father of a certain Margaret Thatcher), to the reimagined corner shops run by immigrants from India, East Africa and Eastern Europe from the 60s to the noughties, their influence has shaped the way we shop, the way we eat, and the way we understand ourselves. Babita Sharma was raised in a corner shop in Reading, and over the counter watched a changing world, from the clientele to the products to the politics of the day. Along with the skills to mop a floor perfectly and stack a shelf, she gained a unique insight into a shifting landscape - and an institution that, despite the creep of supermarkets, online shopping and delivery, has found a way to evolve and survive. The Corner Shop is the remarkable human story of these little institutions that have changed the course of our history.
London : Two Roads, 2020.
vii, 261 pages ; 20 cm.
"A Radio 4 book of the week" -- cover.First published in Great Britain in 2019 by Two Roads, an imprint of John Murray Press.
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