Alison Hulme is a Teaching Fellow at Royal Holloway, University of London, UK; a Guest Lecturer at Goldsmiths, University of London, UK and University College Dublin, Ireland; and Visiting Fellow at University of Otago, New Zealand.
Hulme has created a thorough and intriguing ethnography ... [She] is to be commended for the respect, objectivity, and passion she brings to the various conversations across the journey. Furthermore, her writing style, one that includes historical ironies, and parallels between concepts and lived experience, have created a text accessible to a broad, curious readership. -- Susan Marie Martin LSE Review of Books The market as a lifeworld: Alison Hulme's timely study of the cheap commodity rethinks concepts such as reciprocity, community, contract, abundance and, in particular, bargain in the frenzy of globalized consumerism. Informed by anthropological, socioeconomic, and philosophical discussions as well as by ethnographic encounters, and written with admirable lucidity, this is a gem of a book. -- Rey Chow, Duke University, USA Pet gravestones, ships in bottles, pregnancy testing kits: poundstore goods made in China and the un-followable commodities that Alison Hulme follows so magnificently. Connecting materials salvaged from trash, moulds swapped by manufacturers and cheap things richly valued by shoppers, her book vividly analyses how austerity is shaping a booming international trade. -- Ian Cook, University of Exeter, UK In this wonderful Arcades Project of pound stores, Alison Hulme traverses the low-end reality of globalization's shattered hopes. Taking us from London to China and back, she traces the unstable supply chains that guarantee an austerity-era lightness of being , new patterns of consumption predicated on price points, and a phantasmagoria of commodities that begins and ends in waste. There is much to learn from the descriptive power and critical energy of this compelling and important document. -- Christopher Pinney, University College London, UK In this fast paced account of low-end commodity trade, Alison Hulme takes us on an exciting journey across the world. Moving from the pound shops of London to the backstreets of Yiwu, China, it captures the frenzied, exciting, raw and sometimes disturbing, stories behind the cheap trinkets on our discount shop shelves. -- Michael Dutton, Goldsmiths, University of London, UK