Kerry Hudson – Lowborn (5 stars)

Kerry Hudson – Lowborn

credit: Mark Vessey

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.

Lowborn: Kerry Hudson Book Launch

As part of WoWFest19 we are delighted to welcome Kerry Hudson to our store. Kerry grew up in all-encompassing, grinding poverty. Always on the move with her single mother, Kerry attended 9 primary schools and 5 secondary schools, living in B&Bs and council flats. Whilst many people would like to think that Kerry was…

Poverty in Britain Today with Kerry Hudson

LOWBORN by Kerry Hudson is a powerful, personal, agenda changing look at poverty in Britain. Kerry explores where she came from, revisiting the towns she grew up in to try to discover what being poor really means in Britain today. With LOWBORN Kerry is looking break through the barriers, through the naivety and denial…