In the Ditch

Buchi Emecheta


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Penguin Books Ltd
31 August 2023
ISBN: 9780241578124
160 pages

From the publisher

'Sad, sonorous, occasionally hilarious, an extraordinary first novel' Washington Post
'Striking . . . brings sexism and classism into equal focus' The Paris Review

Adah is a single mother of five, living in a dank, crumbling housing estate for 'problem families', avoiding the rats and rubbish. It's not quite the new start in London she had planned. As she navigates the complicated welfare system that keeps her trapped in poverty, can she cling to her dream of a better life, and find somewhere that feels like home?

Buchi Emecheta's scorching debut novel drew on her own experiences to paint a moving picture of hope, unexpected friendship, and survival.

In the Ditch joins The Joys of Motherhood and Second-Class Citizen in Penguin Modern Classics, with a bespoke cover design from Turner Prize-winning artist Chris Ofili.

'Buchi Emecheta was the foremother of black British women's writing' Bernardine Evaristo