With a Violent Debut, He Reveals a London That Is Rarely Seen

It left Lemn Sissay, a poet and a Booker Prize judge, needing a shower, according to a phone interview with the poet. “I’ve never heard this world referred to in this way,” he said. To put it another way, “It is not trying to make excuses for the underclass; it is not trying to contextualise the underclass.”

In books about working-class life, the villain is usually a one-dimensional character created by a middle-class writer, Douglas Stuart, who won the Booker Prize for his debut novel, “Shuggie Bain,” last year. “But Gabriel’s created a world so rich in detail, and motivation and consequence,” he said in a phone interview.

This week, “Who They Was” will be released in the United States, following its release in the UK last year.

As Krauze insisted, the book is much more than a sensationalised account of a horrific crime. A “moral confrontation with the reader” is what he called it, because it makes readers realise that not all criminals are motivated by a lack of resources or opportunities, but rather by their own psychology.

It’s even easier to understand the author’s note in some copies of the book than it is in others. Here I am because I made this choice, he writes. There may have been something missing in my life that I couldn’t find at home.” Because of the way I met my friends and they met me.”

He was born in London’s northwest to a Polish-born newspaper cartoonist and a painter. While his twin brother practised the violin for hours every day, he grew up just around the corner in an apartment where his parents worked. Tolkien and nonfiction about World War I were two of his favourite subjects when he was younger; he decided at the age of 13 to become a writer.

He also made his first knife threat and witnessed his first stabbing in the same year. Blood all over the floor from a person who got poked while I was in a youth club, he recounted.