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Kate Holden is used to being summed up at a glance: arts graduate, history buff, middle-class daughter, dreamer, innocent. But she is a young woman who understands better than most the secrets that people keep hidden. This astonishing debut follows her journey from the safe and leafy suburbs of Melbourne to the all-consuming attractions of heroin and the sex industry.This is a story – confronting and utterly compelling – of survival and resourcefulness; an unflinching look at the consequences of addiction and the struggle of power and control that addicts face. Holden’s journey leads her to a world of sex for money, from the seedy netherworld of back lanes and backseats to the security, both real and imagined, provided by brothels.This is a moving, at times brutal, memoir from a prodigiously talented new voice. Kate Holden has produced a searingly honest and wonderfully written account of a life on the streets, on drugs and on the skids.
‘But I’m perfectly normal, I’m a really ordinary person. And that’s what’s interesting—my ordinariness took me to a place where I found a whole lot of other ordinary people. All the sex workers were ordinary, all the clients were ordinary, all the drug users were ordinary—no one was out of a movie.’ Read the full interview with Kate Holden in the Guardian, a decade after first publication.