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The Adoption Papers

Kay, Jackie
Format: Paperback
Publisher: Bloodaxe Books Ltd (N/A)
Published: October 24, 1991
ISBN: 9781852241568
64 pages
Country of publication: United Kingdom


‘Jackie Kay tells the story of a black girl’s adoption by a white Scottish couple from three different viewpoints: the mother, the birth mother and the daughter. This unique and honest volume of poems has been adapted for radio. Also included in the book are new poems reflecting issues of sexuality, Scottishness and being working-class’ – Spare Rib.

‘Jackie Kay has been gathering a reputation for a few years as an outstanding young talent in British poetry and playwriting… The Adoption Papers could well become a key work of feminism in action… a wonderfully spirited, tender and crafted contribution to Scottish writing, to black writing, and to the poetry of our time. It is a work of the utmost generosity and truth’ – Alastair Niven, Poetry Review.

‘These are brave, honest, unsentimental poems… Kay’s poetry can be loud with pain and rage, but sometimes it’s as though she whispers too, entering dreams, allowing herself a delicate imagery… This book is full of fresh, remarkable poetry; its rhythms sing from the page, demanding to be heard’ – Elizabeth Burns, The Scotsman

‘This poet’s history – a black child adopted and reared in Scotland – and the personae that have shone from her previous books in many genres since her first collection, The Adoption Papers, make reforging this particular identity an unusually complex matter. In different forms, tones and voices, these poems flicker fascinatingly between oppositions… The poems explore authenticity, allegiance, origins and memory through multiple masks’ – Ruth Padel, The Independent.

‘Warm, tough, painful and often very funny poems’ – Fleur Adcock, Sunday Times.

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