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Who Cares

The Hidden Crisis of Caregiving, and How We Solve It - the 2023 Orwell Prize Finalist
  • Author
    • Emily Kenway
Regular price £12.99
Regular price Sale price £12.99

visceral, unsparing picture of our current situation' ROB DELANEY

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

'A rallying cry we should all heed' TLS

A ground-breaking book lifting the lid on the hidden side of the 'care crisis' - helping us reimagine our world to put caregiving at its heart

When Emily Kenway found herself in the painful position of caring for her cancer-stricken mother, her life was changed forever. Though she was lonely, she was far from alone: around the world, millions of people are quietly caring for unwell, elderly or disabled loved ones. For many, this is a full-time job, saving economies billions. But the human cost remains largely ignored.

Why are caregivers mostly women? As families shrink, how can we provide care? Can care robots be the answer? And what does death anxiety have to do with all this? Through unflinching investigation, Who Cares asks vital questions about why we have a 'care crisis' at both a global and individual level.

Deftly blending memoir with forensic research and the voices of caregivers from as far afield as Norway, Nepal and Nebraska, Who Cares is an essential read for anyone who has ever cared for, or will receive care from, another person - which is to say, for everyone.

More Praise for Who Cares:

'An impassioned call to action' Sunday Times
'Vitally important' Jon McGregor
'Striking, honest and intimate' Dazed
'A compassionate hybrid of memoir and manifesto' New Statesman
'A book we all must read' Silvia Federici
  • Published: Feb 15 2024
  • 198 x 128mm
  • ISBN: 9781472288493

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Press Reviews

  • Frankie Boyle

    A horrifying exposé of how modern slavery is being used by elites against those most in need in our society - a must-read
  • Daniel Trilling

    author of Lights in the Distance: Exile and Refuge at the Borders of Europe
    A brave, well-argued and thought-provoking intervention in a complex debate
  • Molly Smith

    co-author, with Juno Mac, of Revolting Prostitutes The Fight for Sex Workers' Rights
    Electrifyingly good, thoughtful and deeply concerned with people at the sharp end of anti-trafficking and anti-migrant policies. Kenway's book is a must-read for the entire left
  • Stuart McDonald

    Scottish National Party MP for Cumbernauld, Kilsyth and Kirkintilloch East
    A thought-provoking and essential read - especially if you believe great progress in tackling 'modern slavery' is imminent. Kenway forces us to reconsider how we even think and talk about exploitation
  • Amelia Gentleman

    [Kenway's] powerful treatise argues that modern slavery does not really exist as a clear phenomenon, but has been seized on to divert attention from the underlying causes of labour exploitation, and to provide moral cover for tightened immigration policies
  • Sarah Jaffe, author of WORK WON'T LOVE YOU BACK

    A heartbreaking, beautiful and necessary read. Emily Kenway has written an eloquently vulnerable book that is part memoir and part polemic, and every page of it an act of love. Who Cares delves deep into the brutal realities of providing care in a world designed around the needs of capital, into Kenway's own story of caregiving for her fiercely independent mother as well as stories of caregivers from around the world, in order to show us how much our world would need to change in order to truly value and centre care.
  • Rob Delaney, author of A HEART THAT WORKS

    This is a beautiful book. It's painful to read but extremely refreshing in its acknowledgement of facts as sure as gravity: we will age, get sick and die. It probably won't be pretty, and we'll need care ourselves and/or have to give care to those we love. And all the while capitalism will punish us for both needing and giving care. Emily Kenway's story of caring for her mother plus her exhaustive research into the subject of care at large results in a visceral, unsparing picture of our current situation. It also offers prescriptions and possibilities for the future. Her mother would be proud of the book and I am grateful for it. I can't recommend it highly enough.
  • Lady Brenda Hale, author of SPIDER WOMAN: A LIFE

    Emily Kenway deftly blends heart-breaking personal stories with facts, figures and policy analysis to show why we cannot go on expecting so much of the family and friends of people who need care - which will mean all of us - and offers a radical vision of how we might do things better in future. The Secretary of State for Health and Social Care should be the first to read it.
  • Victoria Bateman, author of THE SEX FACTOR and NAKED FEMINISM

    The crisis of care affects us all, and Emily Kenway's astute, touching and insightful book gives us the power to tackle it head on with the fairness and compassion that is so desperately needed. Everyone needs to read this book.
  • Hilary Cottam, author of RADICAL HELP

    Almost all of us will become carers at some point in our lives. In this important and deeply moving book Emily Kenway shares the story of caring for her mother, showing how we could seed the collective change we need - from new practices of kinning to shifts at work and within the state.
  • Silvia Federici, author of CALIBAN AND THE WITCH

    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
  • Jon McGregor, author of LEAN FALL STAND

    Who Cares is a vitally important book, but it's also a book full of heart, imagination and, yes, care. Deeply moving and rigorously unsentimental, Emily Kenway's book doesn't just report on the current dearth of support for caregivers but focuses on solutions and creative possibilities. Care should be at the heart of our society, and our politics, and Who Cares does a wonderful job showing us why.
  • The Sunday Times
    Shines a valuable light on the often self-imposed invisibility of these lives ... a compassionate tribute to her mother, and an impassioned call to action. I defy anyone not to weep at their own future when reading this important book.
  • Dazed Magazine
    'A striking, honest and intimate page-turner... Shines a light on the invisible care that keeps the world turning, and the desperate need to value and recognise its contributions.'
  • TLS
    A powerful, coherent and shocking account of the unfolding crisis . . . Emily Kenway's moving story and clear-sighted argument for change are a rallying cry we all should heed