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Tony Hogan Bought Me an Ice Cream Float Before He Stole my Ma

by Kerry Hudson

A tale from Hell, whether it is located in Aberdeen, London, Coatbridge or Great Yarmouth. And when you are in the lower depths, you have to find a way of surviving. Which is what Janie and her Ma do. Describing this story as 'uplifting' is perverse, but somehow or other it manages to be optimistic - a tale of survival, and finding the energy to start again - from scratch, if necessary.

Extract

The rows would have come sooner if that van hadn't come round the estate. Two men with grim faces stood in the back, giving out free slabs of orange cheese, blocks of finger-dented batter and cans with white labels that just said Stewed: Meat. Ma said it was from the farmers' mountains. Doug complained he'd had to queue with our benefits book for half an hour to get it: when I spat out the stew as soon as it was in my mouth then took a bite of rubbery cheese to take away the taste.

Parallels

Close Your Eyes by Ewan Morrison
Mo Said She Was Quirky by James Kelman
 

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