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The heavyweights of modern English fiction are Peter Ackroyd, (dishy) Martin Amis, Julian Barnes, A S Byatt, Margaret Drabble, Ian McEwan and Jeanette Winterson.The most accessible travelogue on England is perhaps Bill Bryson's Notes From a Small Island, but Paul Theroux's foul-tempered tramp around the coast in Kingdom by the Sea is a more substantial read.A Traveller's History of England by Christopher Daniell offers a quick introduction to English history, and The State We're In and The State to Come by Observer editor Will Hutton lean to the left in their analysis of Britain's position at the end of the 20th century.Natasha Walter has written an upbeat account of the state of 20th century feminism in Britain in The New Feminism, and Linda McDougall's Westminster Women examines what difference the arrival of around 100 female MPs in the House of Commons since the last election is likely to make.Windrush - The Irresistible Rise of Multicultural Britain by Mike and Trevor Phillips traces the history of black Britain and the impact of immigrants on British society.Julian Barnes' Letters from London is a collection of despatches written for the New Yorker, which attempt to explain the quirks of English life to Americans.

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