Review: Lowborn by Kerry Hudson

Title: Lowborn – Growing Up, Getting Away and Returning to Britain’s Poorest Towns

Author: Kerry Hudson

Pages: 256 Pages

Publisher: Chatto and Windus

The Blurb

‘When every day of your life you have been told you have nothing of value to offer, that you are worth nothing to society, can you ever escape that sense of being ‘lowborn’ no matter how far you’ve come?’ 

Kerry Hudson is proudly working class but she was never proudly poor. The poverty she grew up in was all-encompassing, grinding and often dehumanising. Always on the move with her single mother, Kerry attended nine primary schools and five secondaries, living in B&Bs and council flats. She scores eight out of ten on the Adverse Childhood Experiences measure of childhood trauma.

Twenty years later, Kerry’s life is unrecognisable. She’s a prizewinning novelist who has travelled the world. She has a secure home, a loving partner and access to art, music, film and books. But she often finds herself looking over her shoulder, caught somehow between two worlds.

Lowborn is Kerry’s exploration of where she came from. She revisits the towns she grew up in to try to discover what being poor really means in Britain today and whether anything has changed.

The Review

I want to give Kerry Hudson a massive cuddle. That is my overriding thought after reading her autobiographical look at poverty – Lowborn.

What is truly amazing about this book is that as much as Hudson’s life has been challenged by social issues she does not come across as begging for sympathy. She is not woe-is-me. She is displaying the reality of living n the breadline; a life that she is uncomfortably familiar with.

With brutal reality, Hudson makes you feel thankful. I always say that when I grew up I never needed for anything. I wanted for stuff but I never needed for anything. My two working class parents did the absolute best that they could but my youth was positively idyllic in comparison.

Everybody should read this book to make them more aware of just how bad things can get and remind them to be grateful for the things they have. I know that Lowborn has had a massive impact on me.

Lowborn – Growing Up, Getting Away and Returning to Britain’s Poorest Towns by Kerry Hudson is available now.

For more information regarding Kerry Hudson (@ThatKerryHudson) please visit

For more information regarding Chatto and Windus (@ChattoBooks) please visit

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