Hand to Mouth
The Truth About Being Poor in a Wealthy World
By Linda Tirado
An urgent, uncompromising and heartfelt insider's account of what it is like to be poor and working-class in the modern West
Linda Tirado knows from experience what it is to be poor, to struggle to make ends meet. She has worked all hours as a food service worker in a chain restaurant to support her young family. She knows what it's like to have problems you wish you could fix, but no money, energy or resources to fix them, and no hope of getting any.
In 2013, an essay on the everyday realities of poverty that Tirado wrote and posted online was read and shared around the world. In Hand to Mouth, she gives a searing, witty and clear-eyed insider account of being poor in the world's richest nation. She looks at how ordinary people fall or are born into the poverty trap, explains why the poor don't always behave in the way the middle classes think they should, and makes an urgent call for us all to understand and meet the challenges they face.
Linda Tirado is married with two children and lives in Washington DC. Until 2014, she worked as a food service worker in a chain restaurant. She blogs, writes and campaigns on poverty and class issues. Since her online essay 'Why I Make Terrible Decisions' went viral around the world in autumn 2013, she has received speaking and commentary requests from numerous media outlets and institutions. Hand to Mouth is her first book.
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- Publication date:
02 Oct 2014
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I've been waiting for this book for a long time. Devastatingly smart and funny, consistently entertaining and unflinchingly on target. Linda Tirado is the real thing — Barbara Ehrenreich, acclaimed author of Nickel and Dimed
Conveys harsh realities with the unshakeable integrity of true, lived experience, combined with brilliant analysis, deep intelligence and flaming humour ... Anyone interested in fairness and justice should read this book — Bidisha
Hand to Mouth is phenomenal. Profoundly moving, smart, brilliant — Laurie Penny, author of Unspeakable Things
Part memoir, part polemic, part howl of protest ... an important [read] — Emma Brockes, Guardian
Hand to Mouth - written with scorching flair - should be read by every person lucky enough to have a disposable income — Financial Times
Tirado strips away our capacity to avoid the truth, to be sidetracked. Tirado tells us what we all secretly know every time we catch a glimpse of the night cleaner in the early-morning office finishing up and then heading off to a second job — David Aaronovitch, New Statesman
A very good writer who describes life on the economic margins with biting wit and a lot of insight — Jane Fonda