Went to London, Took the Dog

Nina Stibbe

02 November 2023
352 pages


Ten years after the publication of the prize-winning Love, Nina comes the authors diary of her return to London in her sixty-first year.

'A unique comic voice, endlessly funny' - David Nicholls

'Vulnerable, sharp, funny, wise' - Bonnie Garmus, author of Lessons in Chemistry

Twenty years after leaving London, Nina Stibbe is back in town with her dog, Peggy. Together they take up lodging in the house of writer Deborah (Debby) Moggach in Camden for 'a year-long sabbatical'. It’s a break from married life back in Cornwall, or even perhaps a fresh start altogether.

Debby does not have many demands – only to water the garden, watch for toads, and defrost the odd pie – so Nina is free to explore the city she once called home. Between scrutinising her son’s online dating developments, navigating the politics of the local pool, and taking detergent advice at the laundrette, Went to London, Took the Dog: The Diary of a 60 Year-Old Runaway reunites us with the inimitable voice of Love, Nina, as the writer becomes, as she puts it, 'a proper adult' at last.

As heard on BBC Radio 4's Woman's Hour

'Painfully funny, but also deeply moving' - Meg Mason

'An utter, UTTER treat! It was like spending time with my most clever, insightful, funny, FUNNY friend' - Marian Keyes

'No one writes heartbreak more hilariously, or hilarity more heartbreakingly' - Katherine Heiny

'So sharp and funny, blissfully gossipy, enviably well-observed . . . I loved it' - India Knight

Vulnerable, sharp, funny, wise
A unique comic voice, endlessly funny. Nina makes me laugh so much
No one writes heartbreak more hilariously, or hilarity more heartbreakingly. No one does a better job of making the ordinary phenomenal