Chatto to publish ground-breaking new memoir from Kerry Hudson, LOWBORN

Kerry Hudson author photo.jpg

Becky Hardie, Deputy Publishing Director at Chatto & Windus, has acquired UK and Commonwealth (ex. Canada) rights to LOWBORN: Growing Up, Getting Away and Returning to Britain’s Poorest Towns by award-winning novelist Kerry Hudson. Rights were bought from Juliet Pickering at Blake Friedman as part of a two book deal.

LOWBORN is a deeply personal book which will see Hudson return to the towns she grew up in around the UK: she lived in seven places before the age of 15, in a succession of council estates and B&Bs for the homeless, where she attended nine primary schools and five secondary schools. In returning to these places, she hopes to uncover long buried truths about her own life but also seeks to illuminate what life is really like for Britain’s poorest today. Hudson brings her own experiences and her authentic voice to one of the most urgent and pressing issues of our times.  

Kerry Hudson will document her journey around the country for the Pool where she will be a regular contributor in the lead up to publication of Lowborn in January 2019. Her first piece will run on Wednesday 25 October.  You can also follow her on Twitter: @thatkerryhudson.

Kerry Hudson comments:  ‘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. 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.’

Becky Hardie comments: ‘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.’

Kerry Hudson was born in Aberdeen. Her first novel, Tony Hogan Bought Me An Ice-Cream Float Before He Stole My Ma (Chatto & Windus, 2012) was the winner of the Scottish First Book Award and was shortlisted for the Southbank Sky Arts Literature Award, Guardian First Book Award, Green Carnation Prize, the Author’s Club First Novel Prize and the Polari First Book Award. Kerry’s second novel, Thirst (Chatto & Windus, 2014), won France’s most prestigious award for foreign fiction the Prix Femina Etranger.

Kerry founded The WoMentoring Project and has written for Grazia, Guardian Review, Observer New Review, Metro and YOU magazine. She has represented the British Council in South Korea, mentored with IdeasTap Inspires and TLC, teaches for the Arvon Foundation and was commissioned by the Writers’ Centre Norwich to give a provocation on diversity as part of their ‘National Conversation’ series.

4th Estate acquire SLAY IN YOUR LANE: THE Black Girl Bible in 9-way auction

Helen Garnons-Williams, Publishing Director at 4th Estate, has bought SLAY IN YOUR LANE: The Black Girl Bible by Yomi Adegoke and Elizabeth Uviebinene, in a hotly-contested auction involving nine publishers, from Juliet Pickering at Blake Friedmann Agency. Rights secured are British Commonwealth excl. Canada. Publication is scheduled for Spring, 2018.

SLAY IN YOUR LANE is a guide to life for a generation of black British women inspired to make Lemonade out of lemons, à la Beyonce. Filling a keenly-felt void in books focused on their experiences, SLAY IN YOUR LANE touches on work, dating, representation, education and health, and takes a look at how being black and female affects each of these areas - as told by a bevy of successful black women. It’s about recognising and celebrating the strides black British women have already made, whilst inspiring those who want to do the same and challenging complacency and status quo to forge a better, visible future.

Infectiously smart, funny and furious, Yomi and Elizabeth are part of an ongoing conversation online about the recent crop of inspirational books, and the women that write them. For them, the question is: where is our voice? Between Sandberg's Lean In and Amoruso's #GirlBoss, what is out there for black British women trying to navigate their formative years in a world in which they're largely sidelined?

SLAY IN YOUR LANE is the answer. Yomi and Elizabeth jump into the conversation on behalf of their friends and themselves, tackling issues unique to being young, female and black. From 25 year-old beauty entrepreneur Florence Adepoju to BAFTA award-winning director Amma Asante, they have tracked down successful black British women across a variety of industries, and have interviewed them throughout the book, pulling them into the spotlight alongside their own experiences. Yomi and Elizabeth hope to highlight the stories of some of the country’s most accomplished and yet simultaneously underrepresented women. 

The idea is to build a bright and brilliant campaign around SLAY IN YOUR LANE, utilising regular media, social media platforms (#SIYL), and spreading the word via the women involved. A call to action for black British women, the book not only aims to motivate and galvanise them but to inspire and enlighten all to the reality of their experiences. 

Yomi and Elizabeth are well aware that black women may have been confined to a proverbial lane. But that doesn’t mean they won’t slay in and outside of it.

Twitter: @slayinyourlane