Joanna Kavenna

Joanna Kavenna is the author of three novels, Inglorious, The Birth of Love, and Come to the Edge, and a work of nonfiction, The Ice Museum.

Recent Articles

The London Games

A new book sheds light on the ruins that always lie in an Olympics's wake. 

(AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)
Ghost Milk: Recent Adventures among the Future Ruins of London on the Eve of the Olympics, by Iain Sinclair, Faber and Faber, 405 pages, $30.00 July 2012 marks the third time London has hosted the modern Olympics. In 1908, Britain was a rich and imperious nation, and British athletes topped the medals table. For the 1948 “Austerity Games,” London was scarred by bomb damage and suffering under a postwar regime of rationing. There was no money for new buildings, so athletes were housed in Royal Air Force barracks; the USA won the medal count, while Britain slipped to 12th place. This year, Britain is once again mired in economic gloom. Yet the 2012 contest was awarded in the heady, affluent days before the financial crash. On July 6, 2005, when news broke of the successful Olympic bid, scenes of genuine, unstaged jubilation took place in Trafalgar Square. The official talk was of inspiring a generation, transforming British sports, and regenerating East London—particularly a tract of...