Stereo Embers The Podcast: Hannah Sward (Strip)

Written by on 12/08/2022


The daughter of the late critically-acclaimed poet Robert Sward, Hannah Sward grew up surrounded by literature. Her unconventional childhood of the 70s found her moving around with her dad and eating tofu and brown rice and having gurus visit the house. But Sward’s memoir Strip isn’t just about an eccentric childhood. It’s a far darker affair than that. Kidnapped in the park as a child by a stranger in a van and sexually assaulted by him, Sward chronicles her young life in unflinching detail. And she doesn’t stop there—she candidly describes working as an escort and a stripper and bravely documents her addiction to meth and alcohol and the great pains she took to keep her work and her additjioncts secrets from everyone. Strip is a raw and feral memoir that’s punctuated by streetwise poetry, achingly precise descriptions and a collage of memories that float together to form a complete picture of the lived life. Harrowing, moving and written with authorial finesse and undeniable narrative velocity, Strip is one of the best books of the year. Yes, the content is painful and tough, but Sward navigates the darkness by infusing it with her own brand of light. She’s a knockout writer of tremendous talent.

Stereo Embers
IG: @emberspodcast



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