Rachel Lichtenstein


copyright James Price, 2011

‘Lichtenstein is an artist, writer, local historian and archivist and her multi-faceted approach makes fascinating reading.’
The Independent, 2012

Rachel Lichtenstein’s first book, Rodinsky’s Room (1999, co-written with Iain Sinclair), began as a personal quest and evolved into a compelling psycho-geographical adventure. Now considered a classic of its genre, it has been translated into five languages.

‘Rodinsky’s Room is a riveting mystery as well as a marvellous elegy for a lost world…once you pick up this spellbinding book, you will have to read it straight though.’
The Sunday Times, 1999

Her most recent book, Diamond Street: The Hidden World of Hatton Garden, was published to much critical acclaim in 2012. Diamond Street is the second in a trilogy of nonfiction works for publishers Hamish Hamilton, exploring different London streets. The first in the series, On Brick Lane (2007), was shortlisted for the Ondaatje prize. A volume on Portobello Road will follow.

‘Rachel Lichtenstein has written the story of Hatton Garden as a kind of three-dimensional hologram, in which she excavates what is above ground, below it and backwards in time the evolution of London itself….Through talking to its many characters, Lichtenstein has brought to life something of London that is so taken for granted by its inhabitants that we are unaware of how mysterious and fascinating it is – how one street can be a kind of tardis, a portal to another world of parallel commerce, codes, rituals, history. This is a heartfelt book, full of curiosity and love for its subject.’
Linda Grant, The Times, 2012

She is also the author of A Little Dust Whispered, Keeping Pace: Older Women of the East End and Rodinsky’s Whitechapel. Her work has received extensive coverage in the national print and broadcast media. She has also contributed to a number of anthologies and publications and regularly speaks at events, literary festivals, conferences and other institutions.

‘Lichtenstein has written a fascinating book – half memoir, half social history – that retrieves the street’s past and connects it to its present…On Brick Lane is well worth reading for anyone interested in London’s radical history and its resonances today.’
The Telegraph, 2007

Current projects include a multimedia, GPS activated, location-based digital app drawing on content from her book Diamond Street. Funded by the Arts Council and developed by Lichtenstein in collaboration with a multidisciplinary team that includes audio producers, digital artists, filmmakers, graphic designers, poets and geologists, the free Diamond Street App, will be available in the iTunes app store from June 2013. Please check the blog for regular updates on this project.

Lichtenstein trained as a sculptor and her artwork has been widely exhibited both in the UK and internationally. Venues include Whitechapel Gallery, British Library & Barbican Art Gallery. To accompany the publication of Diamond Street in June 2012, she created a mixed media installation, Sight Unseen, which has been shown in London and Pittsburgh. She also curates and hosts multi-media exhibitions, literary salons and literary festivals. In 2011, she co-curated Shorelines: The World’s First Literary Festival of the Sea for arts organisation Metal, alongside poet Lemn Sissay. She is currently working on Shorelines 2013.

In 2003, Lichtenstein was The British Library’s first Creative Research Fellow, She is currently Research Fellow at Westminster University, where she teaches on the BA and MA Writing the City programmes. She also runs creative nonfiction writing courses at Arvon, alongside being a tour guide, mentor, art educator, oral historian and creative consultant.

For more information on Rachel’s publications and projects, please visit her website www.rachellichtenstein.com