December 2021
contemporary

Respectable

By Lynsey Hanley
Originally published by Penguin

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'Why is class still so central to the experience of living in Britain? It is an urgent question, evaded through a kind of collective shame, but Lynsey Hanley approaches it with wit and passion. Respectable is pithy and provoking, spiced with the personal but solidly grounded in a lifetime's experience of analysing the world around her. It is one of those valuable books that enables the reader to re-think her past and re-experience her own life'
– Hilary Mantel

'Honest, brave and moving, Respectable opens up the emotional experience of navigating across class boundaries in an unequal world'
– Kate Pickett, co-author of The Spirit Level

'Lynsey Hanley is such a crucial voice. When she writes about class, she is writing about lived experience'
– Owen Jones, New Statesman

'Ambitious, impressive ... There is fury contained within the pages of Respectable. An intelligent and important book'
– Guardian

Lynsey Hanley grew up part of the 'respectable working class'. At university, she discovered that social mobility is not all it seems. This book is about what it means to cross class divides, what we leave behind in order to get on, and how class affects all of us today.