Troubador Poles Apart

Released: 01/12/2013

ISBN: 9781783063154

eISBN: 9781848767188

Format: Paperback/eBook

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Poles Apart


"You're lucky, being a girl. You can always get au pair work. Or a job in a Polish bakery - apparently they're springing up all over London". Marta grits her teeth and nods. She is used to this now: the assumption that she has come to England to abandon her career and make a fortune changing nappies and cleaning floors. It couldn't be further from the truth. Poles Apart tells the story of an ambitious young graduate from the outskirts of Warsaw who moves to London in search of fresh challenges and the opportunity to make a name for herself. But it's harder than she had anticipated. Her qualifications are unpronounceable - let alone recognisable - and the workplace isn't the only area riddled with prejudice. Marta's new set of 'friends' are quick to turn their backs on the newcomer, as are the men in her life - of which there are many. Based on a true story, Poles Apart is an insightful, funny, cynical look at London life through the eyes of a young migrant. It is a book for anyone who has ever encountered preconceptions or prejudice.

"Her biting descriptions neatly expose the banality of a macho culture addicted to its own mythology."

Praise for Feral Youth
“The riots were widely misunderstood. The perception of feral youth causing havoc, driven by nothing more than criminalisation, was mooted from the start and stuck. It meant that the underlying causes such as poverty, broken homes and deprivation were largely unexamined. This book changes that. If you want to understand why so many young people took to the streets two summers ago, read this book.” - Sonya Thomas, Reading the Riots

“Feral Youth is as compelling as it is horrifying. It lifts the lid on the lives of marginalised young people that the media demonises and the rest of us prefer to ignore.” – Fiona Bawdon

“Feral Youth is a unique story that brings the lives and challenges of urban youth to the fore in a provocative way, giving an insight into life on London’s streets beyond the negative stereotypes and provoking us to address the underlying causes of the riots.” – Patrick Regan OBE, Founder & CEO, XLP

“Seeing the World through the eyes of youth, as Polly has achieved with Feral Youth, is something politicians and leaders of industry need to strive to achieve. It gives a unique insight to the very real problems encountered in some of our most deprived areas. Alesha wants to feel self-respect and love from those around her and acceptance from society, but taking the right path and making the right choices is a struggle . The stark reality of life on the streets today is that the wrong choices are often the easiest ones.” – Gary Trowsdale, Damilola Taylor Trust

“Feral Youth is an important book.” – After Nyne

“Feral Youth is as life-affirming as Trainspotting and will connect with teenagers and adults alike.” – Lambert Nagle

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Polly Courtney

Polly Courtney is the author of seven novels and is a regular commentator on TV and radio. She rose to fame in 2006 with her semi-autobiographical account of life in the Square Mile, Golden Handcuffs, although it was never her intention to become a writer; she simply wanted to expose the high-flying City life 'for what it really is'.

Having discovered her passion, she went on to write Poles Apart, a novel based on her Polish migrant friend's story, and a raft of books covering themes such as sexism, racism, "lads' mag" culture and the wealth divide, all with a light-hearted, humorous slant. Courtney's most recent novel, Feral Youth, is set on the streets of south London and delves into the frustrations that led to the summer riots.

In late 2011, on the publication of her sixth novel, It’s a Man’s World, Courtney famously walked out on her publisher, HarperCollins, frustrated by the 'chick lit' titles and covers being assigned to her books. She went on to self-publish her future novels and now gives regular masterclasses in self-publishing.

The west London novelist also plays violin in a semi-professional string quartet, No Strings Attached, and competes for her local side in the London women’s football league.

Polly Courtney

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