A Powerful Personal Essay Worth Reading
Posted on 24th January 2023 at 19:36
By Sebastian Grace
I recently came across a particularly interesting personal essay: “The Monster in My Home Was a Meter, and It Decided Whether I Ate and Slept,” by Kerry Hudson.
Hudson is the author of “Lowborn,” a memoir of growing up poor in Britain. You can read a review of the book in the Guardian by John Harris. She wrote this guest essay for The New York Times on the back of the raging cost of living crisis in the United Kingdom.
Hudson touches particularly on the issue of the end of government financial assistance for utility bills to commentate on societal economic conditions caused by years of austerity and economic mismanagement but exacerbated by inflation due to COVID-19 and the Russian invasion of Ukraine.
She eloquently describes these broader issues through the lens of her own turbulent childhood (“I grew up in a string of dilapidated slum rentals, project housing and homeless hostels”), marked by poverty and disruption, and the family’s battle with “The Meter,” which Hudson portrays like a “monster” and describes as, “Effectively a slot machine for pay-as-you-use energy.”
The piece then is an indictment of a country that claims to still have a functioning welfare state, where help is now even harder to come by than it was when she was growing up, and more than seven million households battle with a monster of their own.
I will soon be publishing my own personal essay on this blog. Stay tuned!
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