Hodder & Stoughton imprint Two Roads has landed BBC news anchor Babita Sharma’s “unique” debut memoir delving into the British corner shop’s cultural history.
UK and Commonwealth rights to The Corner Shop: Shopkeepers, The Sharmas, and the Making of Modern Britain, were acquired by editorial director Kate Hewson from Rory Scarfe of the Blair Partnership. It will be published in hardback on 18th April.
Sharma’s book follows her BBC Four documentary "Booze, Beans & Bhajis: The Story of the Corner Shop". The presenter was raised in a Reading store, granting her an insight into the history of those institutions and how they coped with the changing face of retail.
The publisher said: "The Corner Shop traces the history of the corner shop from the general stores of the first half of the 20th century (one of which was run by the father of a certain Margaret Thatcher), to the reimagined corner shops run by immigrants from India, East Africa and Eastern Europe from the 60s to the noughties, examining their influence and how it has shaped the way we shop, the way we eat, and the way we understand ourselves.”
The Corner Shop will be serialised on the Radio 4 "Book of the Week" slot, supported by a high-level publicity campaign.
Hewson said: “The corner shop is one of the unsung heroes of Britain and beyond, and Babita is a wonderful storyteller, perfectly positioned to bring its unique history into the light. We are all incredibly excited to be publishing this unique, fascinating, and perfectly curated book.”
Sharma added: “Growing up in a corner shop, my primary concern was sampling the sweet selection and avoiding chores, but with hindsight I appreciate how corner shops have always been there for us, revealing a fascinating story of life in Britain over the decades.”