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Common People: An Anthology of Working Class Writers

4.21  ·  Rating details ·  177 ratings  ·  26 reviews
Common People is a collection of essays, poems and pieces of personal memoir, bringing together sixteen well-known writers from working class backgrounds with an equal number of brand new as-yet-unpublished writers from all over the UK.

Too often, working class writers find that the hurdles they have to leap are higher and harder to cross than for writers from more affluent
ebook, Amazon Digital Services, 320 pages
Published May 2019 by Unbound / United Authors Publishing Limited
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I would probably not have this book had it not been chosen for a face to face book group discussion at Five Leaves, which took place last night. It is an enjoyable read, a diverse anthology of shortish essays, mostly memoirs focusing on childhood, by writers with working class backgrounds. As a discussion book, I am not convinced it worked that well, perhaps because of the sheer number and diversity of the voices - too many to discuss each individually.

As a whole I found this both informative
Bookish Chat
Apr 19, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I have read and thoroughly enjoyed Kit De Waal's novels, My Name Is Leon and The Trick To Time, so when I saw that she was responsible for putting together a collection of essays, poems and memoir centred around the subject of being working class, I was VERY interested.

When Unbound offered me an advanced review copy I jumped at the chance to read and review it. The front cover shows an illustrious list of 33 working class writers. Names which jumped straight out at me were Lisa Blower, Cathy
Jun 11, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: books-i-own
Everyone should read this, especially if you live in the UK.
I have been waiting for this collection to come out for months and it was worth the wait. The publishing industry is very middle-class, white, and London-centric. This anthology brings together working-class established authors and up-and-coming authors under one roof as they discuss the many ways one can be working-class.
Like Glen James Brown's Ironopolis, this book really hit a nerve. It has made me reflect on my own life and figure
william ellison
For the love of...

A breath of fresh air to come across so many talented writers from working class backgrounds. If course that isn't as monochrome as it sounds for there is everything here from political activism to criminal tendencies. But throughout there is a recognisable voice of simple humanity without the vaguest hint of distaste for life's necessities.
Lisa Bentley
I love Unbound. The book they publish are often raw, interesting and steeped in reality.Common Peopleis no different.

I loved it.

It is a mixture of short stories, essays, and poetry. If you grew up working class (and I did) then you will relate to this book so much.

Please check out Unbound’s upcoming publications and support upcoming authors.

Common People – An Anthology of Working Class Writersby Kit de Waal is available now.
Angela Groves
May 23, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A fantastic celebration of life as part of the working class. Debunking the myths and assumptions, with stories full of humour, love and hope.
Katheryn Thompson
I couldn't believe my luck when I discovered a copy of this anthology in the library. I stumbled across the poetry section, and thought I'd correct the fact that I haven't read much modern poetry. Unfortunately, the selection was limited - too many Penguin Classics by far - and I was about to give up when I saw this book. Just for the record, although it contains some poetry, I would not describe this anthology as a poetry collection. Common People largely consists of essays, memoirs, and ...more
Jul 26, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Common People is an anthology of writing by people who all share a working class background. These are voices that are less commonly heard in the predominantly white middle class world of publishing.

The pieces cover a wide variety of experiences, childhood, sport (pool, darts, football and the dogs), and life in general. They are diverse in tone as well as theme and every author is one I would want to read again. Most are prose, but there are a couple of poems as well.

Here are some of my
Katie (readingwithkt)
Aug 18, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This book is IMPORTANT. I had to start writing notes on all the short stories in the book that spoke to me, in a myriad of different ways. There were simply too many golden nuggets! Now I just want to force a copy of this in to the hands of everyone I know. My own TBR just grew exponentially, having been exposed to so many fantastic writers. This book is particularly important if you live in the UK, and I'd recommend reading the author blurbs (at the rear of the book) before reading their ...more
The word that comes to mind to describe this anthology is, ironically, 'rich' It's a great idea, and those don't always work out but what struck me is how well this does, how varied the experiences, but how even the quality. I loved that those who are established as writers mingle here with those for whom this is their first publication (though I note all are described as writers) - and I couldn't tell which were which.
Jeff Smith
Oct 02, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Some really wonderful short stories that engage, enlighten and entertain.. nature, sport, relationships and of course class. If you've ever felt undervalued, that you don't fit in, that you're 'not good enough, that you were born on the 'wrong side of the tracks' then have a read and connect with like minded people who tell you that you and your place in this world is relevant, you have a voice and there is a purposeful life out there for you, be working class and proud of it.
Anne Williams
Dec 03, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Really well put together anthology of short essays and personal stories by "working-class" writers. There is some analysis of what defines working class... but really the personal recollections by these wonderful authors, established and emerging writers, does that best. A terrific, crowd funded project from Kit de Waal and Unbound Publishing. Buy it, you won't be disappointed.
Dec 03, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I ordered the hard copy of this book and it made its way across the Atlantic. Well-worth the wait. Every piece in this anthology is superb. The issue of class is complex and this collection of memoirs, short stories, creative non-fiction, and poetry explores its issues--triumphs, trials, heartbreak and hardship. I've discovered so many new (to me) writers I want to read more from! Read this book.
Jun 29, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This is brilliant, best book of the year so far. A much-needed collection of working class voices telling their own story. Some pieces are gritty, some are poetic, many are very relatable, some tell grim stories that you're grateful aren't yours. An absolute must read.
Paul Handley
May 29, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This is a brilliant collection of essays, poems and memoirs by working class writers. If you grew up in an era of social clubs, listening to your nan and grandads stories, community, hardship and struggle....then frankly, you’ll find this hard not to love. It’s the best thing I’ve read in ages. 5*
Aug 04, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Fabulous anthology of working class writers. Rich in humour, of course; also evocative, poignant, sad, complicated, fury-inducing and enlightening. Being a working class writer myself there is much to enjoy here and I could relate easily to most of the pieces. Highly recommended.
Dec 14, 2019 rated it it was amazing
An amazing literary compilation.
Jun 16, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Take your time over this book as it conjures up so many images you need to reflect on. Thoroughly recommend it and now have lots more authors to read.
Mr Peter
Jan 19, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Read about this in the New Statesmen. Great reads that put you through every emotion possible, sometimes at the same time. Very relevant for our times.
Aug 01, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2019
What an amazing anthology. Review to follow soon.
Kate Mitchell
Oct 28, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Excellent and enjoyable anthology.
Dec 24, 2019 rated it really liked it
Enjoyed this book. Really good quality collection of memoirs.
Jun 18, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Many of these accounts really resonated with me. A wonderful collection.
Nov 18, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I didn't know how much I needed to read stories set on council estates and in overcrowded houses until I opened this. I can't thank all of these writers enough
Jan 23, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Cornucopia of moving stories

A huge variety of perspectives funny inspiring sad and heartfelt some of those most striking from those writing for almost the first time
Michael Jarvie
Jun 19, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I have monitored the progress of this book since its inception with some interest. In fact I had hoped to be able to submit some of my own life writing for inclusion, but was prevented from doing so by the gatekeepers at New Writing North. As a working-class writer, being rejected is my default position. Unbound are therefore only one in a long line of publishers who have turned down my work.
What you should know is that this collection is heavily weighted towards female writers: 23 out of 34 to
Louisa Gale
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Aug 30, 2019
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Jul 24, 2019
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