Kerry Hudson – Lowborn
- Lynsey May
- 17 April 2019
Personal and captivating memoir from the prize-winning novelist
Deceptively easy to read, Kerry Hudson's unflinching memoir takes us through some of the author's most traumatic moments with a firm but gentle hand. The prize-winning novelist gives us a glimpse into a working-class childhood fragmented by upheaval and dislocation, but perhaps the most distressing thing about it is the fact that it's not an isolated story.
Lowborn is a book about people crushed on the edges of society, surviving despite the daily, grinding pressures of poverty and desperation. Or not, as the case may be. Or surviving and not thriving, which is even more commonplace for individuals facing socioeconomic deprivation. Hudson has constructed a life for herself that's very different to the one that may have been expected. While there are personal attributes that helped her on the way, there are also other, less tangible factors which allowed her to assume a life which that upbringing didn't exactly equip her for.
There's an easy assumption that the very fact the author 'passes' as middle class suggests her childhood in poverty can't have been all that bad after all. But Hudson is a tiny dot of data in a huge statistical swathe of evidence that suggests transcendence is an unlikely option. As food banks proliferate and funded support shrinks, Hudson's memoir draws our attention to all of the stories that slip through the cracks in a thoroughly personal and captivating way.
Out Thu 16 May via Chatto & Windus.