THIRST by Kerry Hudson was chosen by WH Smith as one of the titles for Fresh Talent promotion, launched in February with the aims to promote new and emerging writers.

The retailer said it had been working closely with publishers to curate the list, which he expects will capture the attention of commuters and travellers. W H Smith Travel fiction buyer Matt Bates said: “Our Fresh Talent promotion is going from strength to strength, showcasing the very best in new and emerging writing talent. We have worked closely with major publishing houses as well as independents to curate what is undoubtedly a very strong selection.”

THIRST is a contemporary love story from Scottish First Book Award winner Kerry Hudson. It has been published in 2014 by Chatto, and translated in French and Italian.

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 heart-breaking romance of almost unbearable fragility based in contemporary East London and rural Russia.

Born in Aberdeen, Kerry Hudson 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. She was chosen as a Bookseller Rising Star 2014 for her work on the WoMentoring project. She currently divides her writing time and affections between Hackney and Hanoi, and is working on her third novel.


Praise for 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.’ – Guardian

'Tremendously affecting… impressively unostentatious' – Claire Allfree, The Metro

‘Heart-wrenching without being maudlin, THIRST is a novel about the scraps of hope that people find when they’re completely out of options… Hudson has an eye for detail and her meticulous research shows without bogging down the narrative. There are villains, but no obvious heroes. It’s a bleak outlook, but Hudson makes it beautiful.’ – Kaite Welsh, The Independent