Paul Morley grew up in Reddish, less than five miles from Manchester and even closer to Stockport. Ever since the age of seven Morley has always thought of himself as a northerner. What that meant, he wasn’t entirely sure. It was for him, as it is for millions of others in England, an absolute, indisputable truth. Forty years after walking down grey pavements on his way to school, Paul explores what it means to be northern and why those who consider themselves to be believe it so strongly. Like industrial towns dotted across great green landscapes of hills and valleys, Morley breaks up his own history with fragments of his region’s own social and cultural background. Stories of his Dad spreading margarine on Weetabix stand alongside those about northern England’s first fish and chip shop in Mossley, near Oldham. Ambitiously sweeping and beautifully impressionistic, without ever losing touch with the minute details of life above the M25, The North is an extraordinary mixture of memoir and history, a unique insight into how we, as a nation, classify the unclassifiable.