The Way to Hornsey Rise: an Autobiographical Novel
(Holland Park Press, 2023)
The Way to Hornsey Rise, explores how a privately educated schoolboy turns from his rural Surrey background to the squats, drugs and hippie scene of 1970s north London; the story is also about the intense relationship with his alcoholic, charismatic mother. Beyond an engaging personal story, the narrative investigates how a 1968-style vision of the world collapsed, and the implications this has for the author and many of his generation. A few of these themes have been touched on in Jeremy’s two collections of short stories but in this book he steps out of the mask and tells it as it was.
Listen to an excerpt, read by the author:
‘A fascinating and candid coming-of-age novelised-memoir, seasoned with phenomenal recall and a perfectly-pitched tone of voice. Wholly beguiling.’ – William Boyd
‘The memoir rips away the veneer of the British upper-middle classes, showing them to be venal, despairing, corrupt. Highly recommended.’ – Francis Gilbert
‘Surprising, even shocking, above all beautifully written. Do read it. You won’t be disappointed.’ – Christopher Sinclair-Stevenson
‘The Way to Hornsey Rise slips down like a glass of real lemonade on a hot afternoon, its sweet and bitter notes beautifully balanced. A sentimental education without illusions.’ – Ferdinand Mount
‘Taking us from the class-bound stockbroker belt suburbs of Surrey in the 1960s, all minor public schools and gin-sozzled adultery, to the squats of North London in the 1970s, this is a book rich in period detail and atmosphere, and its account of a young man’s painful progress from innocence to experience as compellingly universal as it is highly specific of a time and place.’ – Travis Elborough
Fragmented, a collection of short stories
(Cinnamon Press, 2011)
This work traced a narrative from hippy squatter in the seventies to established husband, father and lecturer reflecting on his current life in inner city London. In his first collection of short fiction, Fragmented, Jeremy Worman traced a narrative from hippy squatter in the seventies to established husband, father and lecturer reflecting on life in inner city London in the present.
Many sketches are set in Hackney or Hornsey Rise – at one time the largest squat in Europe. Fragmented brings to life characters and places; examines the underside of London epitomised by outsiders, drugs, racial tension and crime, and explores deeper themes not only of childhood, family and relationships, but also of the nature of writing, political idealism, fear of oblivion and how we conjure and retain a sense of the past. The tone is variously reflective, nostalgic, critical, humorous and detached.
‘Many of Worman’s stories encapsulate a moment in time like a photograph, often embodying both place and emotion attached to it.’ – from the review of Fragmented by Hannah Lowe in West End Extra
‘The attentiveness with which he documents urban change is impressive. He shows us that the familiar places where we pass time (daydream, meet people, wait for busses) must be commemorated. It is in these places that our fragmented parts exist.’ Flora Neve in the Hackney Citizen
Swimming with Diana Dors and Other Stories
In this collection Jeremy digs deeper, bringing to life memorable characters who remain with the reader. Variously personal, elegiac, political, and humorous, the stories range over themes of outsiders, loss, death, ghosts, change and the importance of place, with many stories set in London.
🎥 Watch “Madame Sossi” from Swimming with Diana Dors.
‘It is excellent writing overall.’ East End Review
‘This is a powerful collection of stories rooted in experience and understanding. Jeremy Worman is capable of summing up a place and a life in a few paragraphs. I really enjoyed his earlier books, but this one represents a genuine move forward to a subtlety and nuance in the language. You will not be disappointed if you’re looking for stories that reveal powerfully the underlying sense of life and characters. Living in Hackney, where some of the stories are set, I know they have an authenticity which is very refreshing.’ Charlie Kimber and Diana Swingler
The Day I Met Vini Reilly & Other Stories
(I selected these prize-winning stories for the Cinnamon Press short story competition in 2016. I also wrote the introduction to the collection)
From my Introduction:
‘The Day I Met Vini Reilly’ by Will Kemp has a pop buzz feel from the outset as the narrator, an infatuated fan, sets off to see a concert of his hero Vini Reilly, guitarist and leader of the Manchester band The Durutti Column. Light-touch social commentary, ironic personal reflections, sharp dialogue and insights about the author and his hero, fuse history and autobiography to create a bravura narrative that rescues from obscurity a cultural and personal moment.
In ‘Common Ground by Jane McLaughlin the solitude of the narrator, living in a country cottage after the breakup of a relationship, is striking for its ironic lack of self pity. The originality comes not from further self-analysis but through meeting a travellers’ family who have made an encampment at the edge of her land. She is drawn further into their life and, in a highly charged conclusion, finds a kind of emotional release for herself. ‘Eclipsed’ by Kate Mitchell grabs attention: from the first paragraph; a social and psychological entanglement with skilful dialogue bringing the narrative to a chilling conclusion. Also featuring Kathryn Lund, Jane Austin, Rosa Campbell, Aoife Fitzpatrick, L.F.Roth, Mandy Huggins & Jennifer Bailey’.