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Hand to Mouth The Truth About Being Poor in a Wealthy World by Linda Tirado

Hand to Mouth The Truth About Being Poor in a Wealthy World

Biography / Autobiography   The Real World   eBook Favourites   

Sue Baker's view...

The sub-title to Linda Tirado’s book is The Truth about being Poor in a Wealthy World and in Linda’s case this is America – Land of the Free. With our politicians so keen to follow in the wake of American economic policy here’s how it is, experienced by someone who’s struggling but aware there are people even worse off. And if you’re not in Linda’s position, then it’s even worse than you think - To use just one example – teeth. Due to lack of money and a road accident, Linda has problems with her teeth, including a broken partial denture that she can’t afford to fix but has to wear as who wants a toothless worker on view? So she’s forced to wear a badly repaired denture that gives her mouth ulcers, it means she finds it hard to speak and even harder to eat. This is just one of the kicks in life, get ill lose your job, if there’s no work today then go home without wages, never mind you’ve got rent to pay or food to buy. How the car breaking down means life unravelling horribly quickly, you eat crap food because it’s cheap and you don’t have such things as ingredients beloved of the cookery authors, besides you’re hardly likely to live long enough to worry about the effects on your liver. Wonder why the check-out woman or the person selling your burger isn’t smiling? Read Hand to Mouth and it becomes all too apparent.

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Who is Sue Baker


Hand to Mouth The Truth About Being Poor in a Wealthy World by Linda Tirado

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.


'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

'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

About the Author

Linda Tirado is married with two children and lives in Utah, USA. 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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Book Info

Publication date

30th September 2014


Linda Tirado

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Virago Press Ltd an imprint of Little, Brown Book Group


224 pages


Biography / Autobiography
The Real World
eBook Favourites

Poverty & unemployment



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