Saturday, August 20, 2011

Red Dust Road by Jackie Kay

Red Dust Road won the Scottish Book of the Year Award and I was delighted to win copies of all the shortlisted books in a competition over on For Books Sake. (Just a week before the close of public voting on the winner, so I had to speed read all four books but I did get my vote in!).

Red Dust Road is Jackie Kay's account of growing up in Glasgow, black, lesbian and adopted. It also covers her search for her birth parents. It is a companion piece to her recent poetry collection Fiere (which I reviewed here for Book after Book).

It is a very moving and often entertaining story. Kay seems to have been very lucky with her adopted parents, who come across as wonderfully supportive in all possible ways. Her birth mother is a very nervous Mormon from the Highlands of Scotland and her birth father is a recently born again preacher from Nigeria.

Kay describes her search beautifully and reflects on nature vs nurture and the meaning of family. It's a book well worth reading, specially if you know Jackie Kay's work.

Red Dust Road by Jackie Kay, published by Picador

reviewed for the LGBT Reading Challenge

As ever, coloured text contains hyperlinks which take you to other webpages where you can find out more.

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