My Name Is Why
by Lemn Sissay
A memoir with a message - about growing up in care and finding hope, determination and creativity - from British poet and national treasure Lemn Sissay.
How does it keep it a secret?
This story is how.
At the age of seventeen, after a childhood in a fostered family followed by six years in care homes, Norman Greenwood was given his birth certificate. He learned that his real name was not Norman. It was Lemn Sissay. He was British and Ethiopian. And he learned that his mother had been pleading for his safe return to her since his birth.
Here Sissay recounts his life story. It is a story of neglect and determination. Misfortune and hope. Cruelty and triumph.
Sissay reflects on a childhood in care, self-expression and Britishness, and in doing so explores the institutional care system, race, family and the meaning of home. Written with all the lyricism and power you would expect from one of the nation's best-loved poets, this moving, frank and timely memoir is the result of a life spent asking questions, and a celebration of the redemptive power of creativity.
Page Count: 224 Pages
Imprint: A&U Canongate
Published: Sept 2020