7 October 2021
My thanks to ShelterBox and Laura Lees for my copy of this book
London, 2050. Catastrophic flooding has breached the Thames Barrier.
As Londoners fight to escape the remains of their city, a group of neighbours must band together for survival...
Global disaster relief organisation ShelterBox launches Tamesis Street, a collectively written story about climate change, as part of its hugely successful book club.
The book is a collaborative writing project, in development for over a year and featuring well-known authors, celebrities, journalists and people living and working in the areas that ShelterBox supports. Climate change is driving increasingly extreme weather events, such as severe floods and droughts, which destroy homes and force millions to be displaced each year. ShelterBox is working on the frontline of the crisis, providing emergency shelter to communities bearing the brunt of our heating world, and recently sent a team to respond to the 7.2 magnitude Haiti earthquake which has destroyed or damaged more than 130,000 homes.
A total of 30 authors have contributed to the book, including Cressida Cowell, Bill Bryson, Kit De Waal, Joanne Harris, Samira Ahmed, Michael Donkor, Balli Kaur Jaswal, Stig Abell, and Chris Packham. The book features a foreword by ShelterBox Patron, Her Royal Highness the Duchess of Cornwall, and Ugandan climate activist Vanessa Nakate provides the afterword. Sir Quentin Blake has illustrated the cover.
Tamesis Street is available via the ShelterBox Book Club. To join, visit shelterbox.org/book-club/. Memberships can also be gifted in subscriptions of 3, 6 or 12 month packages. The club was launched in 2018, inspired by the communities ShelterBox supports after disaster, and is focused on international stories from diverse authors.
ShelterBox is a disaster relief organisation providing emergency shelter to communities after disaster. We help vulnerable people who have lost their homes to extreme weather events like hurricanes, floods and draught; seismic events like volcanos and earthquakes; as well as protracted crises including conflict.
We have worked in Syria for 10 years, we respond frequently in the Philippines, and we are currently working in places including India, Honduras and Sudan. When it comes to the climate crisis, we are on the front line, supporting those bearing the brunt of extreme weather - we work with communities who often have the least resilience and resources to withstand the changing conditions. https://www.shelterbox.org
ShelterBox Book Club
The book club was launched in 2018, inspired by the communities ShelterBox supports after disaster, and is focused on international stories from diverse authors. For a monthly donation of £10 - every 6 weeks members vote on what to read next from a handpicked selection. Subscribers receive a book in the post and join discussions virtually, on Zoom and in a thriving Facebook forum - where authors frequently host Q&A events.
The contributors to Tamesis Street are:
Andrew Michael Hurley, Balli Kaur Jaswal, Bill Bryson, Chris Packham, Cressida Cowell, Charmaine Arcos from FACE Inc. ShelterBox’s partner in the Philippines, Emma Yule - Book Club Member, Helen Lederer, Jay Rayner, Joanne Harris, John Lanchester, Kayleigh Kelly - Book Club Member, Kerry Hudson, Kirsty Logan, Kit De Waal, Ather Al Atyiah, ShelterBox’s partner from ReliefAid in Syria, Mary-Noel Abia Mbata, ShelterBox’s partner from IEDA Relief in Cameroon, Michael Donkor, Mike Leigh, Miriam Mwazimva – ShelterBox’s partner from Habitat for Humanity Malawi, Monique Roffey, Patrick Gale, Samira Ahmed, Sarah Tagholm, Sarah Waters, Stig Abell, Veronica Henry, Wyl Menmuir, Yi Shun Lai, Sir Quentin Blake.
📖 My thoughts...
Tamesis Street is set in a future time which is eerily prophetic of what we could experience unless the climate challenge is faced and appropriate action is taken now. This cleverly woven collection of tales has been penned by thirty really good writers who each write a paragraph and who bring their own special interpretation of events to the story.
Tamesis Street is set thirty years into the future, when the mighty River Thames bursts its banks, and it is a cautionary tale which is as diverse as it is consuming and which collectively is very powerful. I found the message of the story to be both poignant and heartbreaking in equal measure and it is both beautifully written and so well edited that you don't see the join.
Without doubt, these thirty talented writers have produced a story which stays long in the imagination and for that reason I have no hesitation in making Tamesis Street my Featured Book of the Month for December. This beautifully presented little book is the perfect gift for Christmas, and beyond, and is available by taking out a subscription to ShelterBox Book Club.
Tamesis Street is available via the ShelterBox Book Club (shelterbox.org/book-club) and memberships can be gifted in subscriptions of 3, 6 or 12 month packages.
Twitter @ShelterBoxBooks #TamesisStreet