My Name Is Why
by Lemn Sissay
✅ Editor: Canongate Books Ltd
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Ripped away from his mother Ethiopian in childhood, Sissay’s endured more than a decade of abuse and cruelty is intentional in the English care system. This is the powerful and stimulating account of the acclaimed poet’s journey to the abandonment and the despair of the artistic and cultural recognition. “His name is magic, his poems are songs for the road’ – Independent At the age of seventeen, after a childhood in a family favorite, followed by six years in nursing homes, Norman Greenwood was given his birth certificate. He has learned that his real name was not Norman. It Was Lemn Sissay. He was British, and Ethiopian. And he knew that his mother had been pleading for her return to her since his birth. This is Lemn story; a story of abandonment and determination, bad luck, and hope, cruelty and triumph. Sissay reflects on a childhood in care, self-expression and the Britishness, and in so doing explores the institutional system of assistance, of race, of family, and the sense of home. Written with all the lyricism and power that you would expect from one of the nation’s best-loved poets, this movement, frank and timely book of memories is the result of a life spent doing questions, and a celebration of the redemptive power of creativity.
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