Soft City

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Soft City
First US edition
AuthorJonathan Raban
PublisherHamish Hamilton (UK)
E.P. Dutton (US)
Publication date
LC ClassHT133 .R3 1974a

Soft City is the first book written by Jonathan Raban, and published by Hamish Hamilton (UK) and E. P. Dutton & Company (US) in 1974.


Soft City records one man's attempt to plot a course through the urban labyrinth. Holding up a revealing mirror to the modern city, it is used as the locale for a demanding and expressive personal drama.

Jonathan Raban’s soft city is the malleable material from which identity is formed. “It invites you to remake it, to consolidate it into an shape you can live in . . . Decide who you are, and the city will again assume a fixed form around you.” This soft city is the mythic city, where illusion, dream, aspiration, and nightmare are all fixed into place; it comes into focus as it is passed through and acted upon by an individual or a collective. Where is the ‘Soft City” now? – Feb 2007 Introduced by Tim Waterman Hosted by Andrew Stuck, Rethinking Cities Ltd.