Former lapdancer who turned to sex work to pay bills tipped for literary stardom after penning gritty memoirs


A model-turned-poet has penned a book charting her meteoric rise from high-class escort to toast of the literary world.

Lancashire-born former lapdancer Yrsa Daley-Ward, 29, has dazzled critics with her frank admissions on her battles with mental health, suicide attempts, ‘torrid’ affairs with married men and taking on sex work to help pay the bills.

Her gritty memoir, The Terrible (£9.99, Penguin), which looks at her childhood in the north-west of England and subsequent foray into the dark underside of the fashion industry and drug abuse, has already received rave reviews.

Former Topshop model Ysra’s first book, poetry collection Bone, was critically acclaimed when it was released in 2014 and her second offering has been described as a ‘must-read’ fusion of poetry and prose.

Childhood tales: The star, who is of Jamaican and Nigerian heritage, was born in Chorley but spent around four years living with her strictly religious grandparents

Critics have praised Ysra, who has also landed acting jobs in shows including Shameless for refusing to shy away from dark episodes in her life, from being paid to act as the dominatrix to an older man, to experiencing racism as a young girl.

She describes in painstaking detail sexual encounters with clients including a Hampstead man who asked her to play the ‘headmistress’, writing: ‘What a wondrous exchange. Ever heard a cane whip through the air?’

Proud feminist Ysra, who has modelled for the likes of Estée Lauder and Nike, has 132,000 Instagram followers and believes the internet has been pivotal in boosting her publishing career.

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