Researching the city and walking with street dwellers: Recreating urban encounters past and present


  • Isabel Carrera Suárez University of Oviedo
  • Simone Lazaroo Murdoch University



urban fiction, Simone Lazaroo, Eurasian, expulsion, Sassen


The art of recreating cities imaginatively and the critical act of reading urban fiction involve processes of research and learning that often include encounters with specific cities and their dwellers, prompting reflection on the forms and ethics of such encounters. Whether carrying out historical research into the past or observation of the rapid transformation of contemporary cities, writers and critics often combine the acquisition of documentary and experiential knowledge of urban spaces. Taking two different categories of writing by Simone Lazaroo, on the one hand her texts on past relations between Singapore and Australia, and on the other her current stories on global cities after the Great Financial Crisis, we explore the processes of learning before and through representation, and the ethics of human interaction in the contact zone of the global urban where, increasingly, the world’s expelled have become street-dwellers. 

Author Biographies

Isabel Carrera Suárez, University of Oviedo

Isabel Carrera Suárez is Professor in English at the University of Oviedo, Spain. She has published widely on the intersections between feminism and postcolonialism, particularly as reflected in contemporary women’s fiction. Among recent publications are Reading Transcultural Cities (coedited, 2011), and her discussion of the aesthetics of pedestrianism in post-diasporic cities (Interventions 17.6; 2015). Her contribution to the Oxford History of the Novel in English is forthcoming (2017).

Simone Lazaroo, Murdoch University

Simone Lazaroo has won awards for her five published novels and several short stories exploring individuals living at the intersections of cultures. Her current writing projects explore contemporary experiences of travel, home, homelessness, belonging, loss and memorialisation in cities during the aftermath of the Global Financial Crisis.  She is a senior lecturer in creative writing at Murdoch University, Western Australia.