Kerry Hudson’s THIRST is published today in paperback by Vintage, with a stunning new cover. THIRST has already gained spectacular recognition, making it onto Red’s 10 Best Summer Reads for August 2014 which called it ‘funny, inventive, delightful’ and from the Guardian, “THIRST explores the lives of people not generally considered fit for literature and does so with wit and a shrewdness that makes Hudson's subjects zing from the page... This is Love on the Dole 21st‑century style, featuring complex working-class characters faced with moral dilemmas.'
Alena and Dave are both on the run from disaster and meet during a London heatwave to begin a love affair as dark, joyful and frenetic as the city itself. Dave, who has built a carefully controlled world of self-denial and isolation, is drawn to Alena's passion for life, while Alena discovers that sex can be more than a transaction and that love and safety are priceless commodities.
But a relationship founded on secrets is easily shattered, and when Alena's ex-lover arrives, threatening to expose her, Alena flees. By the time Dave overcomes his mistrust about Alena and her past and follows her into the bitter Russian winter, he can only hope he's not too late to convince her that just as spring will come, second and even third chances can always be found. THIRST is a heartbreaking romance of almost unbearable fragility based in contemporary East London and rural Russia.
With Harper's Bazaar listing it as a Best British Read and calling it, ‘Fresh and original ... an unsentimental love story,’ THIRST changes the style of traditional love stories, and at its bruised heart lies a tender and tentative relationship like no other.
Born in Aberdeen, Kerry grew up in a succession of council estates, B&Bs and caravan parks which provided her with a keen eye for idiosyncratic behaviour, material for life and a love of travel. Kerry is strongly supported by both the British Council and Arts Council England, who awarded a grant for her to go to Russia for two months and research for THIRST, and who took her to Korea for a month to appear at several literary festivals. She was chosen as one of the Bookseller’s Rising Stars of 2014 for her work founding the Womentoring Project. Recently, Kerry has written an important and much-lauded provocation on diversity in the publishing industry, the full text for which you can read here.
Kerry’s profile was featured by the Observer where she talked about her career path, her travels and the journey to writing THIRST.
Praise for THIRST
‘Well-written and engaging.’ – Daily Mail
'Hudson excels at depicting twilight lives... tremendously affecting.. impressively unostentatious in its instinct for a common story within a city of millions that rarely gets heard.' - Claire Allfree, The Metro
'A quirky love story that I found both funny and touching … Hudson's debut was highly praised and this is a terrific follow up.' - Women and Home
‘She's a master at creating strong, authentic voices, and this book fizzes with the thronging sounds of east London in the summer and the bustling streets of an unknown Siberian town.’ – list.co.uk