Read Red Dust Road by Jackie Kay Free Online
Book Title: Red Dust Road|
ISBN 13: 9780330451062
The author of the book: Jackie Kay
Edition: Picador USA
Date of issue: March 1st 2011
Format files: PDF
The size of the: 539 KB
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Reader ratings: 7.3
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I had not heard of this writer until I was given the audio CD version of this book for Christmas. Jackie Kay is a poet and a professor of Creative Writing at Newcastle University in the UK.
Many people have written about the evil effects of discrimination and this author has encountered more than most. She was born to a white Scottish woman and a black Nigerian father and adopted by a white Scottish couple in the 1960s in Glasgow where most people were hostile to anyone with a darker skin. She is also gay, and while she does not dwell on this aspect of her life, it must surely have meant that she faced more bigoted people who disapproved of her lifestyle. Her accounts of bullying in school are very moving and she was lucky that she had an older brother who defended her.
This memoir is not only about her childhood but the main theme is her appreciation of the her adoptive parents and her search for her birth parents...an emotionally challenging prospect. Jackie meets her birth mother who later re-married and had more children. It is not an entirely satisfactory experience and the mother does not want her family to know that Jackie exists as she still feels shame about being pregnant with little support in 1960s Glasgow.
Her search for her father takes her to Nigeria where she does manage one meeting with him. The father also feels shame about impregnating his girlfriend and abandoning her to return to Africa. After that one meeting he does not want any more contact with her and does not want his children to know she exists. With the help of friends she makes in Nigeria, she makes a rather hair-raising expedition to her Ancestral Villages and the book ends on a very positive note.
I highly recommend the audio edition of this book. It is read by Jackie herself and I found her Glasgow accent, and the parts that she reads in Ebo accent really enhance the experience of reading this book. Caution, once you have started, you will find it hard to put down!
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Read information about the authorBorn in Glasgow in 1961 to a Scottish mother and a Nigerian father, Kay was adopted by a white couple, Helen and John Kay, as a baby. Brought up in Bishopbriggs, a Glasgow suburb, she has an older adopted brother, Maxwell as well as siblings by her adoptive parents.
Kay's adoptive father worked full-time for the Communist Party and stood for election as a Member of Parliament, and her adoptive mother was the secretary of the Scottish Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament (CND).
Initially harbouring ambitions to be an actress, she decided to concentrate on writing after encouragement by Alasdair Gray. She studied English at the University of Stirling and her first book of poetry, the partially autobiographical The Adoption Papers, was published in 1991, and won the Saltire Society Scottish First Book Award. Her other awards include the 1994 Somerset Maugham Award for Other Lovers, and the Guardian Fiction Prize for Trumpet, based on the life of American jazz musician Billy Tipton, born Dorothy Tipton, who lived as a man for the last fifty years of her life.
Kay writes extensively stage, screen, and for children. In 2010 she published Red Dust Road, an account of her search for her birth parents, a white Scottish woman, and a Nigerian man. Her birth parents met when her father was a student at Aberdeen University and her mother was a nurse. Her drama The Lamplighter is an exploration of the Atlantic slave trade. It was broadcast on BBC Radio 3 in March 2007 and published in poem form in 2008.
Jackie Kay became a Member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE) on 17 June 2006. She is currently Professor of Creative Writing at Newcastle University. Kay lives in Manchester.
Jackie Kay was born and brought up in Scotland. THE ADOPTION PAPERS (Bloodaxe, 1991) won the Forward Prize, a Saltire prize and a Scottish Arts Council Prize. DARLING was a poetry book society choice. FIERE, her most recent collection of poems was shortlisted for the COSTA award. Her novel TRUMPET won the Guardian Fiction Award and was shortlisted for the IMPAC award. RED DUST ROAD, (Picador) won the Scottish Book of the Year Award, was shortlisted for the JR ACKERLEY prize and the LONDON BOOK AWARD. She was awarded an MBE in 2006, and made a fellow of the Royal Society of Literature in 2002. Her book of stories WISH I WAS HERE won the Decibel British Book Award.
She also writes for children and her book RED CHERRY RED (Bloomsbury) won the CLYPE award. She has written extensively for stage and television. Her play MANCHESTER LINES produced by Manchester Library Theatre was on this year in Manchester. Her new book of short stories REALITY, REALITY was recently published by Picador. She is Professor of Creative Writing at Newcastle University.
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