Britain is once again home to hundreds of slaves - they reach our shores via unimaginably perilous crossings, are locked into hideous, back-breaking working lives, and remain hidden to the rest of us. Very few get free to tell of their appalling incarceration. Meet five who did here in this compelling, revealing book. Readers of politically involved, campaigning non-fiction, such as "Shopped", "No Logo", "Nickel" and "Dimed". Also readers of the powerful end of the 'misery memoir' genre. Here are the horrifying stories of people who have been trafficked, smuggled or duped into the UK to find themselves stripped of their passports and money, locked in cramped rooms, shackled involuntarily to work as domestic servants, brothel workers, fruit pickers or construction workers, beaten, raped and psychologically abused, and who if they seek their freedom are threatened with unending violence. A brave and lucky handful escape from these barbaric conditions to report on their experiences to the outside world - often to find that there is not as much as support, sympathy or succour there as might be expected. Here are their harrowing testimonies.
Campaigning journalist-activist RAHILA GUPTA has written several plays, and is the editor of From Homebreakers to Jailbreakers: Southall Black Sisters and co-author of Circle of Light, a book about the Sikh-British woman Kiranjit Ahluwalia imprisoned for the manslaughter of her abusive husband.