Deborah Orr | 'The more humble my beginnings, the more I appeared to have achieved'

Deborah Orr | 'The more humble my beginnings, the more I appeared to have achieved'

Over the past year, I have had the privilege of being among the early readers of some outstanding memoirs which chart their authors’ challenging childhoods and the after-effects thereof: Educated by Tara Westover; Lowborn by Kerry Hudson; and My Past is a Foreign Country by Zeba Talkanhi to name just three. 

In Motherwell: A Girlhood, Deborah Orr does something subtly different. While—like Lowborn—it is a memoir of a Scottish working-class upbringing, in her case in a series of council flats and houses in the Lanarkshire town of Motherwell, there is little obvious misery. Orr had two lovin...

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