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Who Cares: The Hidden Crisis of Caregiving, and How We Solve It

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Emily Kenway

A ground-breaking rethink of caregiving in our society, by writer, activist and former policy advisor Emily Kenway

A powerful, enlightening journey through the world of caregiving, unique in its capacity to both show its cost for those, mostly women, who provide it, and imagine alternatives to the way it is presently organized. Inspired by a direct personal experience, as well as many testimonies and insightful historical research, the book denounces the social acceptance of the sacrifice of life millions of women are making to not abandon their kin when no longer self-sufficient or dying. Courageous in its detailed articulation of what caregiving actually entails, and the loss and suffering involved in this work, this is a book we all must read. For as Kenway convincingly argues, the crisis it reveals is something we will all experience, sooner or later in our lives -- Silvia Federici, author of CALIBAN AND THE WITCH

Around the world, millions of people are quietly caring for long-term unwell, elderly or disabled loved ones; one-in-eight people in the UK and a sixth of the total US population, with comparable proportions across the globe. For many, this is a full-time job, saving our economies billions each year.

Yet when writer, activist and former policy advisor Emily Kenway found herself in the painful position of caring for her mother, she discovered that provision for people in her situation was, at best, hopelessly inadequate and, at worst, completely non-existent. This isn't only in the form of paltry financial handouts for informal caregivers, but also a dearth of social, psychological, workplace and community structures to support people going through this experience.

Deftly blending memoir, polemic and deeply researched investigation, Who Cares lifts the lid on a subject society has never been willing to confront. Through Emily's personal story, as well as the voices of other caregivers and those receiving care, unflinching investigations into the facts of care, and research from scientists at the forefront of potential solutions all over the world, this ground-breaking books asks vital questions about why we have a 'crisis of care', at both a global level and in the individual lives affected - and shows how we need to reorganise and reimagine the fundamental building blocks of our world to ensure caregiving is at its heart.

'A visceral, unsparing picture of our current situation . . . I can't recommend it highly enough' ROB DELANEY

'A radical vision for how we might do things better in future' LADY BRENDA HALE

'Heartbreaking, beautiful and necessary . . . and every page of it an act of love' SARAH JAFFE

About our speaker:

Emily Kenway researches, writes and speaks about thought-provoking social issues. Drawing on a decade-long career working in social justice, from campaigning for living wages to tackling worker exploitation, she sheds light on the crucial forces shaping our lives and communities.

Her first book, ‘The Truth about Modern Slavery’, was published in January 2021 with Pluto Press and widely acclaimed. Emily is currently completing a doctorate in social policy at the University of Edinburgh and is represented by RCW literary agency. She has had the pleasure and privilege of sitting on many boards over the years, and is currently on the boards of National Ugly Mugs and the think tank for democratic ownership, Common Wealth.

Emily’s writing has been published by The Guardian, Independent, Huffington Post, Times Literary Supplement and more. Her memoir and creative non-fiction writing has been published in several beautiful literary magazines. In 2020, Emily was shortlisted for the Alpine Writing Fellowship and nominated for a Pushcart Prize. You can view a selection of her published work here. As a speaker, Emily has appeared on most major news channels over the past few years, including Sky, ITV, BBC, NPR, Talk Radio and more.

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