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The working class has its own cultural identity – and we must see it on the page

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Stories are a key support for each person’s identity, so it’s vital we defend those going unheard and unread – or leave a void to be filled by the far right

A few years ago, fresh and excitable, just out of university, I was offered a job as writer-in-residence for the Watershed Landscape Project, to work with local communities to examine the landscape of the south Pennines and their connection to it. This morning, feeling as though the world is on the brink of something terrible – fingers of a small hand slowly loosening their grip on a cliff-edge and slipping – I take down the book of their writing from the shelf above my desk, needing to be reminded again of what they said.

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