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Newham Bookshop

745-747 Barking Road
London E13 9ER
Telephone: 020 8552 9993
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Tuesday – Friday
9.30 am – 5 pm
Saturday 10 am – 5 pm

Tuesday 2 May at 7.30 pm
at The Wanstead Tap


Strange Labyrinth
Strange Labyrinth is published in
hardback by Granta Books at £14.99.

Buy ticket online
Tickets online from
Newham Bookshop £5

The Wanstead Tap logo

Great range of beers and sophisticated soft drinks
Will Ashon
A recent photograph of Will Ashon
by Karen Robinson for the Observer

Will Ashon
Strange Labyrinth

Outlaws, Poets, Mystics, Murderers and a Coward in London’s Great Forest

Will Ashon will be in conversation with John Rogers, author of This Other London

This is a book about Epping Forest, the remnants of ancient woodland on the eastern edge of London. It’s about the punks and poets, artists and visionaries, the outlaws and the mad who have found inspiration and solace within these woods. It’s also about how historical rulings such as The Enclosure Act and the Charter of the Forest still impact our landscape.

Will Ashon is the engaging narrator of the woods; he tells us the stories of Jacob Epstein, Ken Campbell, John Clare, Wally Hope and the band Crass amongst others. Though their stories are varied, each man finds that Epping Forest is a space in which they can lose and find and be themselves.

Strange Labyrinth is a story of a confused, contradictory yet creative patch of England.

Will Ashon was born in Leicester in 1969. Having worked as a music journalist, he founded the record label Big Dada Recordings in 1996, which he ran for over fifteen years, signing acts like Roots Manuva, Wiley, Diplo, Kate Tempest and Young Fathers and, in the process, winning the Mercury Music Prize twice. He is also the author of the novels Clear Water and The Heritage. He lives in Walthamstow.

Strange Labyrinth is a wonderful exploration of the tangled undergrowth of the psyche. Ashon is an anarchic Green Man; a puckish punk of the forests and here he has invented a new genre: Gonzo Romanticism.” – Jon Day.

“From John Clare to Crass, Will Ashon unearths magic in a forest that is more than mere harbour and hide-out for dissidents, poets and outlaws, but which represents an entire narrative strand of an ever-changing England. Here is deep questing into both person and place, masterfully delivered.” – Benjamin Myers.

Forthcoming events


Thursday 28 September at 7.30 pm
at The Wanstead Tap

Iain Sinclair: The Last London

Thursday 12 October at 7.30 pm
at Wanstead Library

The Potato Show
An evening with John Hegley
Redbridge Libraries’ Fabula Festival

Friday 13 October at 7.30 pm
at Wanstead Library

Lottie Moggach: Under the Sun
Redbridge Libraries’ Fabula Festival

Thursday 26 October at 7.30 pm
at The Wanstead Tap

Travis Elborough: The Vinyl Countdown

Wednesday 1 November at 7.30 pm
at The Wanstead Tap

The Gentle Author: East End Vernacular

Thursday 16 November at 7.30 pm
at Conway Hall

Michael Rosen: So They Call You Pisher!
Conway Hall have changed their ticketing website for this event. If you had a problem trying to book tickets, please try again now.

Friday 24 November at 7.30 pm
at The Wanstead Tap

Lucinda Hawksley
Dickens and Christmas

Past events and news


Chris Difford: Some Fantastic Place

Donal Ryan and Sarah Winman
in conversation

Mark Thomas: The Liar’s Quartet

Jacqueline Wilson: Wave Me Goodbye

Stuart Heritage and Jonathan Dean
Writing Family

Julian Woodford
The Boss of Bethnal Green

Will Ashon: Strange Labyrinth

Dave Randall: Sound System
The Political Power of Music

Peter Walker: Bike Nation
How Cycling Can Save the World

Eugenia Cheng: Beyond Infinity

Jake Arnott: The Fatal Tree

Michael Rosen
The Disappearance of Émile Zola

Fundraising event for
refugee charity Care4Calais
Poetry and prose readings with
Julie Christie, Niall Buggy,
David Calder, Andy de la Tour
and Susan Wooldridge

Book signing on publication day
Nadiya Hussain
The Secret Lives of the Amir Sisters

Shami Chakrabarti discusses
the importance of libraries
Inaugural annual Lantern Lecture