In My Skin

In My Skin

3.8 (4,193 ratings by Goodreads)
By (author) 

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I watched the glaze of headlights, the windscreens of oncoming cars: a series of trapezoids with the silhouette of a single male driver. One pulled up in front of me; I reached over and opened the door, slid in. The smell of an unfamiliar car. A middle-aged man looking at me. 'Hi,' I said. 'How are you'.

Kate Holden is accustomed 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.

In My Skin follows her journey from her reputation as a 'good girl' in the safe and leafy suburbs of Melbourne to the all-consuming attractions of heroin and the sex industry.

This is a story of survival and resourcefulness; an unflinching look at the consequences of addiction. Holden's journey leads her from a sheltered life in her loving family home to a world of sex for money - a seedy netherworld of back lanes, backseats and brothels.

More than just a fearless and compelling narrative, In My Skin is a triumphant announcement of a major new literary talent.
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Product details

  • Paperback | 304 pages
  • 130 x 198 x 18mm | 222g
  • Edinburgh, United Kingdom
  • English
  • Main
  • 1841959316
  • 9781841959313
  • 7,406

Review quote

In My Skin is the work of a stunningly talented writer who both graces and surpasses her material, subverting popular assumptions about addiction and prostitution while making the extraordinary seem commonplace and the ordinary deeply alluring. The subject matter, fascinating though it is, is secondary. Such are her powers to tap into the universal while telling a cracking good tale, Kate Holden could make the story of a tongue-tied troglodyte thrilling. * * Guardian * * This surprising trajectory, along with its searing intellectual and emotional honesty and the quality of the writing, easily sets In My Skin apart from most other my-substance-abuse-hell memoirs. * * Independent * * Her narrative is unwaveringly honest: she does not gloss over the brutality of some of her clients, but towards others she feels generosity, sympathy, lust and even love. Her writing is fluent, lyrical and inventive. This is a complex, thought-provoking and brilliantly unsettling book. * * New Statesman * * Holden does what writers are supposed to do: challenges herself to examine the pressures that led her to live a life that, to put it kindly, would seem countercultural to most of us. She presents her own and, by extension, women's sexuality less as being victimised by prostitution than as predatory and mercenary, as a career chosen and developed. She frankly describes the euphoria of drugs, of turning five or six tricks a night, and the added pleasure of reckoning the money that she earned. * * The Times * *
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About Kate Holden

Kate Holden was born in Melbourne in 1972. She completed an Honours degree in classics and literature at the University of Melbourne and a graduate diploma in professional writing and editing. In My Skin is her first book.
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Rating details

4,193 ratings
3.8 out of 5 stars
5 27% (1,129)
4 38% (1,577)
3 26% (1,088)
2 8% (320)
1 2% (79)
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