Kay's The Lamplighter takes us on a journey through the dark heart of slavery. Four women and one man tell the story of the fort, the slave ship, the middle passage, the life on the plantations, the growth of the British city and the industrial revolution. The Lamplighter focuses on the devastating human cost of slavery for individual people. Includes a CD of the BBC radio play.
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Jackie Kay was an adopted child of Scottish/Nigerian descent brought up by white parents in Glasgow. She is one of Britain's best-known poets, appearing frequently on radio and TV programmes on poetry and culture. In 2007 Bloodaxe published Darling: New & Selected Poems, which included almost all of her four previous books of poetry from Bloodaxe, The Adoption Papers (1991), Other Lovers (1993), Off Colour (1998) and Life Mask (2005). Her epic poem The Lamplighter, which has been adapted for both radio and stage, is published by Bloodaxe in 2008. Jackie Kay's fiction (from Picador) has been massively popular: her novel Trumpet (1998) and two collections of short stories, Why Don't You Stop Talking? (2002) and Wish I Was Here (2006). She won the Somerset Maugham Award with Other Lovers, the Guardian Fiction Prize for Trumpet, Decibel Writer of the Year for Wish I Was Here and has twice won the Signal Poetry Award for her children's poetry. Her fourth book of poetry for children, Red Cherry, Red, was published by Bloomsbury in 2007. The Adoption Papers is a set text on numerous school and university courses. She lives in Manchester, and was awarded an MBE for services to literature in 2006.Review:
'The Lamplighter was epic. Huge, sprawling, ambitious, defiant, angry and gripping, Jackie Kay's dramatised poem told the bitter story of slavery through the experience of four women. It began, and pointedly ended, with the voice of an 11-year-old girl, snatched from her home to be sold after a long sea voyage to Britain: "I am a girl, I am in the dark, I don't know how long I have been kept in the dark."'This was dramatically towering stuff, full of rousing prayer and sad song, and choruses sung in helplessness and revolt, as Kay's women defied cruelty, death and silence. The superb Mona Hammond played Mary, a woman who defended herself from rape and was then punished with torture and death: left out to die for three days, she says, "to break the spirit of anyone whose spirit might need breaking". This highly charged production, full of true stories that have been left unheard too long, had quite the opposite effect. Its circular structure ended brimful of hope, with Mary merrily cackling to herself, "I survived them all"' - Elisabeth Mahoney, The Guardian
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Book Description Bloodaxe Books Ltd, 2009. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Never used!. Bookseller Inventory # P111852248041