Hodder Studio got Undercurrent: A Cornish Memoir of Poverty, Nature and Resilience, Natasha Carthew’s “vital” and “powerful” memoirs.
Harriet Poland, Editorial Director, has purchased the UK and British Commonwealth rights from Juliet Pickering of the Blake Friedmann Literary Agency at auction. undercurrent will be released in the summer of 2023.
Carthew is the author of three YA novels with Bloomsbury, the Adult Novel All the rivers flow freely (river) and several collections of poetry. She is also the founder and artistic director of the Working Class Writers’ Festival.
“undercurrentwrote the publisher, “is a memoir about rural poverty and escape that blends nature writing with personal testimony and investigation. Cornwall has long been the heart of second home, a county of staggering beauty and striking inequality, where working-class families are driven from the villages of their childhood and ignored by a political system that is not designed to protect them. Natasha Carthew grew up in a Cornish village that felt a world away from Rick Stein’s waterfronts, experiencing a childhood of perilous instability and limited opportunity while drinking in the beauty of the world around her. She found solace in the local mobile library and freedom in writing. In undercurrent she comes full circle, returning to the place of her birth to make sense of her journey away from there.
Poland commented: “Among the many events that have shaken society in these two years, the great migration to ‘the country’ is perhaps the one that will leave the longest mark. What is a privilege for some is the slow destruction of a way of life for others, and this book bears witness to the impact of rural inequality. Natasha, as always, balances beauty, intimacy and truth in her writing, and these memoirs are a vitally important and moving account of lives beyond the M25.
Carthew added: “It was hugely important to me that undercurrent, my love letter to Cornwall, was entrusted to a creative and compassionate editor, an editor who, while treating my memoirs with care and consideration, would not be afraid to challenge the postcard image of a county which, in truth, is ravaged by extreme poverty; I am delighted to say that Harriet Poland is definitely that editor.