WINNER OF THE MOTHER THERESA MEMORIAL INTERNATIONAL AWARD & THE TRUE LEGEND AWARD FROM THE TELEGRAPH
Jillian’s story of a poor Anglo-Indian family struggling to exist in the slums of Calcutta shows the power of love and goodness. In the book, she recalls the generosity of the local people, such as the tea shop owner who gave milk to her sick baby sister. The trials of her life taught her resilience and mental strength, but kindness gave her hope for the future. I am a great believer in kindness, and Jillian is an inspiration and example to us all.” —Sarah, Duchess of York
A Voice Out of Poverty proves how “success” is not just the act of making it through. Rather, it is the act of reaching back to bring others with you. A Voice Out of Poverty traces the remarkable journey of this determined, and compassionate woman as she uses her story and her voice to speak for the poor & powerless.
As a young girl, Jillian Haslam saved a life. Herself tiny and aching from malnutrition, she stood for hours at a tea shop, begging for a ladle of milk to try and prevent her new-born sister from dying. This tenacious act was the first glimmer of a lifelong drive to empower others to rise from adversity.
A Voice Out of Poverty leaves the reader asking how someone so young had the tenacity to overcome so much―and then go back to face it all again in a passionate effort to spare others from the suffering that she endured and witnessed all around her growing up.
"It is no Cinderella story, but rather emphasizes hard work and sheer courage. Poverty, gender, and race are at the forefront of our problems―and indeed, problems worldwide.” —Shachi Amdekar President, Cambridge University Intnl. Dev. Society, UK
This is a deeply affecting, harrowing story that will remain locked in readers’ memories. Haslam’s delicate, descriptive writing style captures even her most distressing moments. Drawing on her talent as a motivational speaker, Haslam delivers succinct words that have the power to both inspire and offer hope: “Light can come from darkness. My family’s pain is not the entire tale.” The author has lived an extraordinary life—her odyssey, which is skilfully recalled here, will unnerve, move, and inspire readers in equal measure. —Kirkus Review (starred review)
A Voice out of Poverty is riveting and essential reading. It authentically lifts the silence that hangs over the lives of the poor and the severe challenges and stigmas faced by British families who stayed in India after India’s independence. Jillian Haslam’s harrowing account is full of deep insight about the crushing ways in which gender discrimination, class, corruption, and injustice shape possibility. And yet, we are lifted by Haslam’s triumph when she forges the opportunity to succeed—only to bring others with her. —Joanna Lumley, actress, TV producer, activist
Jillian Haslam’s inspirational memoir, A Voice out of Poverty, is a coming of age story of courage, survival and inner strength which illuminates the human condition in all its squalor and glory. —Vikas Swarup, writer of Slumdog Millionaire (Q & A)
Enormously compelling ... like something out of Dickens, yet true. It has the power to move with an epic sweep, yet it is intensely personal. It is tailor-made for the cinema and I cannot think of a more worthy project to make happen! —Jack Sholder, Hollywood Film Director, Nightmare on Elm Street II
Jillian Haslam’s story is one of the most harrowing and triumphant I have ever read. Just when you think things couldn’t get any more tragic, it does. One hardship after another, this woman had the fortitude to not just persevere but to create a new standard of what it means to give back. Her stirring spirit is a beacon of much-needed light in today’s world. —Sheetal Sheth, actress, producer, author, activist