Lowborn: Growing Up, Getting Away and Returning to Britain's Poorest Towns (Hardback)Kerry Hudson (author)
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Kerry Hudson examines both the internal and external effects of poverty in Britain in this searing critique of class, inequality and social mobility. Hudson’s own path from sink estate to the nation’s bookshelves frames the combative narrative of Lowborn, as the author struggles to reconcile her impoverished upbringing with the comfort and success of her current life. An urgent, important book about the state of the nation today.
When every day of your life you have been told you have nothing of value to offer, that you are worth nothing to society, can you ever escape that sense of being `lowborn' no matter how far you've come?
Kerry Hudson is proudly working class but she was never proudly poor. The poverty she grew up in was all-encompassing, grinding and often dehumanising. Always on the move with her single mother, Kerry attended nine primary schools and five secondaries, living in B&Bs and council flats. She scores eight out of ten on the Adverse Childhood Experiences measure of childhood trauma.
Twenty years later, Kerry's life is unrecognisable. She's a prizewinning novelist who has travelled the world. She has a secure home, a loving partner and access to art, music, film and books. But she often finds herself looking over her shoulder, caught somehow between two worlds.
Lowborn is Kerry's exploration of where she came from. She revisits the towns she grew up in to try to discover what being poor really means in Britain today and whether anything has changed. She also journeys into the hardest regions of her own childhood, because sometimes in order to move forwards we first have to look back.
Publisher: Vintage Publishing
Number of pages: 256
Weight: 377 g
Dimensions: 222 x 144 x 26 mm
'Lowborn is in part an indictment of a country that claims to still have a functioning welfare state... Most of all, it is a moving portrait of the survival and eventual flourishing of a remarkable spirit' - John Harris, The Guardian
'Elegant, compassionate and powerful... Challenging and compelling, Lowborntells the hidden story of what it means to be poor in Britain today' - Charlotte Heathcote, The Sunday Express
'Kerry Hudson invites us to really understand the complexities of being born working class in Britain. Buy it, read it, tell everyone about it' - Jack Monroe
'Kerry Hudson blew me away, opened my eyes... She's got such a great voice and can really tell a story" -- Philippa Perry, author of The Book You Wish Your Parents Had Read
'I cannot imagine a more important or beautifully written book in 2019' - Christie Watson, author of The Language of Kindness
'It's not just Kerry Hudson's writing that is vibrant, authentic and true, it's the person herself, it's where the writing comes from; a wise and generous heart' -- Kit de Waal, author of My Name is Leon
'The acclaimed novelist examines the long-lasting effects of growing up in poverty in this honest, reflective look at her own experiences and the state of the country today' - i
'One of the most important books of the year' - Nikesh Shukla, The Guardian
'In a country bruised by years of austerity, writers are still exploring class and inequality. Kerry Hudson's memoir Lowborn: Growing Up, Getting Away and Returning to Britain's Poorest Towns...arrives with a sense of urgency' - The New Statesman
'What does it mean to be poor in Britain today? Hudson, now a successful author, goes back to where she grew up and examines how her childhood in poverty shaped her. An honest memoir that touches on the author's struggle to reconcile the two very different worlds she belongs to' - Joanne Finney, Good Housekeeping
'I've been in thrall to the words of Kerry Hudson since reading the very first sentence of her spectacularly good debut novel. I'm so glad she is writing Lowborn. It's an important book that needs to exist and she is exactly the right person to write it. The hideous divisiveness that the horror that is Brexit has both revealed and fuelled, only makes this book more necessary' - Cathy Rentzenbrink
'Fragile, combative... A road trip around places she grew up in, it lifts the lid on the pressures of poverty' - Anthony Cummins, Metro
'Kerry Hudson takes us to the places we'd rather not think about - literally and emotionally. She challenges us to think anew about poverty in the here and now using her own experiences but also looking past it and refusing to look away or offer lazy solutions. Her writing is as urgent as her cause and I wish there had been a Kerry Hudson to light the way for me' - Damian Barr
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“Honest and heartbreaking account of life in the UK underclass”
I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for a review.
Kerry Hudson is an immensely brave, honest and resilient person, and I truly admire her for having the courage to write such an unflinching... More
I first heard Kerry talk at a Vintage Roadshow at Forum Books, Corbridge before Christmas, this didn’t put me off though and I was really fascinated by the concept of Lowborn.
Earlier this year I went to another... More
Firstly, thank you to the publishers for this review copy.
It took me a while to be brave enough to pick this book up, hearing families struggle and how this can play out into children's happiness, well being... More
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