• Image of Issue 1217: January 8-14

What makes you who you are? This week, Big Issue North looks into how our physical bodies relate to our sense of self.

Sophie Haydock asks “just how valuable is my body?” While such a question might normally
raise a few eyebrows, her fascinating feature runs through how much she might get on the market if she were to sell her body parts – from kidneys to toenails, and even armpit hair.

On a note that some might find similarly unsettling, Antonia Charlesworth explores the world of Frankenstein, considering why the 200-year-old gothic classic still haunts us today.

Delving even further into the past, Saskia Murphy talks to two women who have researched their family trees, revealing a mixture of aristocratic surprises and urban poverty. Using the latest DNA technology, she discovers her own unknown ancestry and considers her identity itself.

In news, we report that Leeds City Council is lobbying the government for powers to borrow money to build new council houses, and that tennis star Novak Djokovic is using his injury break to fundraise for schools.

In arts and entertainment you’ll find reviews of music and cinema, including The Darkest Hour, a thrilling new account of Winston Churchill’s time in office. Author Willey Cash answers questions on his new novel The Last Ballad, which chronicles a single mother’s struggle for workers rights.

Columnist Ali Schofield’s musings on empathy following a stay in hospital provide food for thought and pose the question: how should we relate to our fellow humans?

Not to mention 2017 highlights of A Letter to my Younger Self, Sudoku, crossword, and even more.

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