Labours of Love | Madeleine Bunting | Granta

  • Published: 01/10/2020
  • ISBN: 9781783783809
  • Granta Books
  • 336 pages

Labours of Love

Madeleine Bunting

LONGLISTEDFORTHEBAILLIEGIFFORDPRIZEFORNON-FICTIONWe’refacingacrisisincarelikelytoaffecteveryoneofusoverthecourseofourlives.Care-workisunderpaid;itsvaluesdisregarded.Britain’ssocietylaudseconomicgrowth,productivityandprofitovercompassion,kindnessandempathy.Forcenturiesthecaringlaboursofwomenhavebeentakenforgranted,butwithmorewomennowinwork,withincreasingnumbersofelderlyandwithausteritydismantlingthewelfarestate,careisunderpressureasneverbefore.Overfiveyears,MadeleineBuntingtravelledthecountry,speakingtocharityworkers,doctors,socialworkers,in-homecarers,nurses,palliativecareteamsandparents,toexplorethevalueofcare,thehiddengluethatbindsustogether.Shefindsremarkablestories,inGPsurgeries,inworkundertakenbyparentsfortheirdisabledchildrenandinend-of-lifeteams,thatconjureadifferentwayofimaginingoursocietyandtheconnectionsbetweenus.Blendingtheserevelatorytestimonieswithahistoryandlanguageofcare,andwithBunting’sownexperiencesofcaringfortheyoungandoldinherfamily,LaboursofLoveisahugelyimportantportraitofournationtoday-andofhowitmightbe-whichraisesaclarioncallforchange.

Labours of Love is a fine achievement. It is full of humanity. I found it utterly absorbing and, unpopular though the word is, humbling

Alison Light, Book of the Week,, Guardian

Labours of Love is a masterpiece. Humane, perceptive, honest, compassionate, wide-ranging, and erudite, it is a profound inquiry into the most important social issue of our time...It should be read by policymakers, health and social care professionals, and anyone who has responsibility for delivering - that is to say, pretty well all of us

Raymond Tallis

Informative, moving and essential, thank you Madeleine Bunting

Philippa Perry

The Author

Madeleine Bunting was for many years a columnist for the Guardian, which she joined in 1990. Bunting read History at Cambridge and Politics at Harvard. She is the author of many non-fiction books, including The Plot: A Biography of My Father’s English Acre, which won the Portico Prize, and Love of Country: A Hebridean Journey, which was shortlisted for the Wainwright Golden Beer Book Prize and the Saltire Non-Fiction Book of the Year. She has also written a novel, Island Song. She lives in London.

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