Saturday, May 18, 2019

Seven books that show real working-class life

Kerry Hudson was born in Aberdeen. Her first novel, Tony Hogan Bought Me an Ice-cream Float Before He Stole My Ma was published in 2012 by Chatto & Windus (Penguin Random House) and was the winner of the Scottish First Book Award while also being shortlisted for the Southbank Sky Arts Literature Award, Guardian First Book Award, Green Carnation Prize, Author’s Club First Novel Prize and the Polari First Book Award. Hudson’s second novel, Thirst, was published in 2014 by Chatto & Windus and won France’s most prestigious award for foreign fiction the Prix Femina Étranger. It was also shortlisted for the European Premio Strega in Italy. Her books are also available in the US (Penguin), France (Editions Philippe Rey), Italy (Minimum Fax) and Turkey.

Huson's new book is a work of nonfiction: Lowborn: Growing Up, Getting Away and Returning to Britain’s Poorest Towns.

At the Guardian the author tagged seven books that show real working-class life, including:
It always feels to me like a way of putting us in our place when people call working-class writing miserable, or gritty, or urban – the same accusation is rarely made when authors from other backgrounds write about heartache, hardship or conflict. Simon Kövesi examines and challenges the expectation of miserabilism in James Kelman, his study of the Scottish novelist. The “quotidian world” evoked by Kelman’s work, Kövesi argues, can instead be seen as “groundbreaking, influential and liberating”. Roddy Doyle’s Barrytown trilogy also explodes that expectation. His novels are full of rib-cracking, tar-black humour as they follow the trials and triumphs of the Rabbitte family.
Read about the other entries on the list.

The Commitments is among Marjorie Kehe's ten best books about Ireland, four books that changed Maureen McCarthy, Dorian Lynskey's ten best fictional musicians, and Tiffany Murray's top ten rock'n'roll novels.

--Marshal Zeringue