Class divisions

Trump vs luxury beliefs

29 min listen

Freddy speaks to Rob Henderson, author of Troubled: A Memoir of Foster Care, Family, and Social Class, in which he coins the term ‘luxury beliefs’. These are certain beliefs held by a section of the elite which confirm and elevate the status of those who hold them. As a consequence, they can cause harm to those lower down the social strata. Is Donald Trump the antidote to America’s ‘luxury beliefs’ complex?

A tale of forbidden love: Trespasses, by Louise Kennedy, reviewed

Kenneth Branagh’s Oscar-winning recent film Belfast chronicles the travails of a Protestant family amid sectarian conflict in 1969. Louise Kennedy’s much hyped first novel, set outside Belfast in 1975, explores the same tensions from a different perspective. Like her protagonist Cushla, Kennedy’s Catholic family owned a pub in a Protestant-majority town, and Trespasses captures how it feels to be outnumbered and under scrutiny. Kennedy’s career is enough to inspire anyone. A chef for 30 years, she only began writing at 47, but her ascent since is far from typical: nine publishers fought over her debut short story collection The End of the World is a Cul de Sac and she