Tom Clark


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Biteback Publishing
20 June 2024
ISBN: 9781785908293
352 pages

From the publisher

A dozen years into austerity, statistical warning lights are flashing to suggest a return to types of deprivation we once imagined we had consigned to history. In the decade up to the pandemic, the official count of rough sleepers and recorded malnutrition in hospital patients both doubled, while recourse to food banks rocketed by an order of magnitude.

And yet it has never been statistics but rather individual human stories – from the fictionalised accounts of Dickens to the faithful reporting of Orwell and Priestley – that have seared the reality of hard times into the public imagination. In Broke, Tom Clark assembles today’s masters of social reportage to go deep into the communities so often ignored by politicians, introducing us to those at the hardest end of the poverty crisis. Contributions from Jem Bartholomew, Cal Flyn, Dani Garavelli, Frances Ryan, Samira Shackle, Daniel Trilling and Jennifer Williams, and a foreword by Kerry Hudson, unflinchingly reveal the contemporary experience of cold, hunger, homelessness, disease, debt, disability, punishing work and an immigration system that makes people destitute by design.

With Joel Goodman’s photography bringing the characters to life, and some of the writers having had first-hand experience of the issues raised, Broke blends powerful human stories with analysis of the policies that have led us to this point – and the reforms we urgently need.

All royalties will be donated to Leeds Asylum Seekers’ Support Network