The LFL is perfectly placed on Wapping High Street at the junction of Lilley Close. Tower Hamlets Community Housing chose the location so that the LFL could be enjoyed by its residents, the local community and all visitors to this historic part of London.
Author Stephanie Saulter officially opened the library by donating copies of her book. Stephanie’s third novel, Regeneration, completes the trilogy that began with Gemsigns and continued in Binary. The stories are set in 22nd century London, and chronicle the struggles of a genetically modified people, the gems, first to escape the grip of the commercial companies that created them, and then to overcome the suspicion, discrimination and prejudice which they face from the norm majority. In Regeneration, the gems’ emergence as innovators and entrepreneurs in their own right begins to threaten not only entrenched business interests, but the entire political status quo.
Stephanie said: “I’m a big fan of what the Little Free Libraries, and indeed all libraries, do for their communities; but this particular library, in this particular place, has a huge resonance with my own work. I was very aware of the historic and cultural significance of the different parts of the city that I used in the novels. The area of east London where the majority of my characters live is known to them as the Squats, and it’s a safe haven for homeless, victimised, marginalised people – a place from which they can begin to rebuild their lives. In our time, that same area is known as … Wapping. But it gets even better, because those newly emancipated people learn what they need to know in part by accessing archived knowledge. In other words, they consult the library. I can’t tell you how delighted I am to see that tale come full circle.”
The next time you're in Wapping, be sure to stop by and donate a book, take a book or both. Thanks to everyone at Tower Hamlets Community Housing and Stephanie Saulter for bringing more books to the East End.