I love storytelling, writing, producing and editing and am lucky enough to get to do these for a living. My journalism appears in publications including The Guardian and Mosaic Science. I’ve authored two non-fiction books: The Shame Game: Overturning the toxic poverty narrative (2020) & Austerity Bites: A journey to the sharp end of cuts in the UK (2014), and contributed to numerous others. I’m also the founder of the multi-platform anti-poverty initiative storytelling initiative, Project Twist-It. I’ve directed and produced short films, run a comedy club, been a Fulbright Scholar at UC Berkeley, and a producer and consultant on the podcast Getting Curious with Jonathan Van Ness. In 2020 I was named Best Foreign Columnist at the Southern California Journalism Awards for my Guardian column, Lesson from America.
Twitter: maryohara1 shamegamethebook.com projecttwistit.com
The Shame Game: Overturning the toxic poverty narrative
For decades the primary narrative about poverty in both countries is that it has been caused by personal flaws or ‘bad life decisions’ rather than policy choices or economic inequality. This misleading account has become deeply embedded in the public consciousness with serious ramifications for how financially vulnerable people are seen, spoken about and treated.
This book by award-winning journalist and author Mary O’Hara asks how we can overturn this fundamentally pernicious portrayal once and for all. Crucially, she turns to the real experts to try to find answers – the people who live it.
The book draws on some of the contributions to Project Twist-It – a two-year multi-platform initiative focusing on the power of storytelling to overturn the toxic poverty narrative https://www.amazon.com/Shame-Game-Overturning-Poverty-Narrative/dp/1447349261
Awards and Recognition
- Alistair Cooke Fulbright Scholar 2010, UC Berkeley Best Foreign Columnist, Southern California Journalism Awards, 2020