Chatto & Windus has acquired the "timely and affecting" memoir of novelist Kerry Hudson, Lowborn, exploring what it means to be poor in post-Brexit Britain.
Becky Hardie, deputy publishing director, acquired UK and Commonwealth (excluding Canada) rights to Lowborn: Growing Up, Getting Away and Returning to Britain’s Poorest Towns from Juliet Pickering at Blake Friedman as part of a two book deal.
Aberdeen-born Hudson won the Scottish First Book Award for her debut Tony Hogan Bought Me An Ice-Cream Float Before He Stole My Ma (Chatto & Windus, 2012), and France’s award for foreign fiction, the Prix Femina Etranger for her second novel, Thirst (Chatto & Windus, 2014).
The memoir will see Hudson return to the towns she grew up in around the UK, having lived in seven different places before the age of 15, in a succession of council estates and B&Bs for the homeless, and attended nine primary schools and five secondary schools.
According to Chatto, in returning to these places, she hopes to uncover long buried truths about her own life and also illuminate what life is really like for Britain’s poorest today.
"To write a book like this, and begin to try and answer questions I’ve had since my youth, is truly something I never imagined might happen," Hudson said.
"Alongside my own story, Lowborn will also tell those of so many in the UK who are often overlooked, exploring subjects that I feel desperately need to be highlighted. I’m incredibly happy to work once again with Chatto & Windus and with an editor as brilliant and astute as Becky knowing they feel as passionately as I do that these are stories that need to be given voice."
Hardie commented: "Using her own troubled childhood as a map, Kerry Hudson’s Lowborn will take a hard look at what it means to be poor in post-Brexit Britain. We are so proud to be Kerry’s publisher – she is a force for good in our world – and Lowborn will be a crucially important, timely and affecting book. We need this book, just as we need Kerry Hudson."
To promote the book, Hudson will be documenting her journey around the country in a series of articles for The Pool, the first of which will run on Wednesday (25th October).