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My Name Is Why
My Name Is Why | Lemn Sissay
How does a government steal a child and then imprison him? How does it keep it a secret? This story is how. At the age of seventeen, after a childhood in a foster 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. This is Lemn's story: a story of neglect and determination, misfortune and hope, cruelty and triumph. Sissay reflects on his childhood, 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.
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review
Wooljunky
My Name Is Why | Lemn Sissay
Pickpick

Probably one of the best Quick Reads books I have ever read. Such a heart-wrenching story of a child in the foster system in the UK in the 80s. Broke my heart in places and made me laugh in others. Brilliant writing, and I would love to read the full book after this.

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Curvybookgirl
My Name Is Why | Lemn Sissay
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Pickpick

Last quick reads by yet another new author for me. I did enjoy this book but found it hard to read as a parent. It‘s an eye opening and honest account of one man‘s journey through the British care system

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TrishB
My Name Is Why | Lemn Sissay
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Pickpick

What a heart breaking read. His achievements are even more amazing given his horrendous time in care. God help us if anyone thinks this level of care is acceptable.
Thanks Jessie ♥️

Lindy I was first introduced to Sissay‘s amazing poetry when he was at the Vancouver Writers Festival a few years ago. I didn‘t realize he has a memoir... which sounds very sad. 1y
TrishB @Lindy very sad 💔 he at least got out of it with a career and a justified anger and is a voice for many children who don‘t have one. 1y
erzascarletbookgasm Glad it‘s a Pick for you. Sounds like a dark memoir. I‘ll go look up his poems. 😊 1y
TrishB @erzascarletbookgasm they are really good 👍🏻 1y
90 likes2 stack adds4 comments
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TrishB
My Name Is Why | Lemn Sissay
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#weeklyforecast
Just starting the tagged book this morning. The others may feature this week.

Cinfhen Tagged book sounds really good 1y
Cinfhen Although absolutely heartbreaking 1y
TrishB @Cinfhen I‘m definitely reading with a lump in my throat. 1y
Caroline2 Oh I‘ve got the rose code on my kindle. Be interesting to hear what you think of it. 👍 1y
TrishB @Caroline2 I‘m enjoying the story very much at the moment 😁 1y
71 likes2 stack adds5 comments
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TrishB
My Name Is Why | Lemn Sissay
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Opened Litsy gifts tonight - thank you Helen, I love the notebook!! 😘
Jessie - thank you this looks great and has wonderful reviews ❤️
And thank you for the other books whoever they are from, they‘re awesome 😘♥️

rockpools 🤣🤣 Unless someone else has sent an identical package, they might be from me! There should‘ve been a gift note, but that might be too much to expect this year. Have a lovely, relaxing Christmas Trish! 😘 2y
squirrelbrain You‘re welcome! Have a lovely relaxing Christmas! 😘🎄 2y
MsMelissa Merry Christmas, Trish 🎄 2y
See All 24 Comments
BarbaraBB Happy relaxing days Trish ❤️ 2y
TrishB @rockpools thank you 😘 no gift note- it said happy Christmas next to my name on the outside which is why I didn‘t open. Much appreciated, looking forward to that poetry book a lot. Have a good one Rachel 💜 2y
Verity I love soulless. Such a great series. 2y
TrishB @squirrelbrain you too Helen 😘 2y
TrishB @Book_Fiend_Melissa happy Christmas 🎄❤️ 2y
TrishB @BarbaraBB you too 😘 2y
TrishB @Verity cool 👍🏻 2y
Kalalalatja Merry Christmas! 💕 2y
TrishB @Kalalalatja Happy Christmas 🎄 hope you have a lovely break 😘 2y
erzascarletbookgasm You‘re welcome. Have a lovely and peaceful Christmas break. Happy Christmas! 💕 2y
Cinfhen Just wanted to stop by and wish you a Merry Christmas ♥️🎄😘Thinking of you and the family xxx 2y
Cathythoughts Happy Christmas Trish 😘 2y
batsy Lovely! Happy Christmas! 🎄❤️ 2y
TrishB @erzascarletbookgasm you too Jessie ❤️ 2y
TrishB @Cinfhen thank you 😘 💜 2y
TrishB @Cathythoughts happy Christmas Cathy 🎄💜 have a lovely family day x 2y
TrishB @batsy happy Christmas 🎄❤️ 2y
arlenefinnigan My Name Is Why is SO good. Brilliant bookmarks as well. All the best! Xxx 2y
TrishB @arlenefinnigan looking forward to it 👍🏻 2y
Centique I love Soulless. I hope you like it too! It is written in a very tongue in cheek style - so you kinda have to be in the mood for that. A belated merry Christmas to you Trish and all the best wishes for you 💕💕 2y
TrishB @Centique thank you- I know what mood to be in 😁 hope you had a lovely Christmas 🎄♥️ 2y
85 likes24 comments
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MsLeah8417
My Name Is Why | Lemn Sissay
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Pickpick

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

11 likes1 stack add
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squirrelbrain
My Name Is Why | Lemn Sissay
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Hi @arlenefinnigan @Emilymdxn - I know you both loved the tagged book, as did I.

Have you heard about the BBC series about Lemn, starting next week?

And don‘t judge me for reading Heat magazine - at least I can say I have a wide lens of cultural appreciation! 🤣

arlenefinnigan Really looking forward to this series. 2y
50 likes1 comment
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arlenefinnigan
My Name Is Why | Lemn Sissay
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Lemn Sissay's story is a remarkable one, beautifully told. He's rightly angry at how his family and childhood were stolen from him, but he also highlights those who helped him fulfill his great potential.
#BlackVoices @ShyBookOwl @TrishB

TrishB Stacked 👍🏻 2y
Emilymdxn I loved this book! 2y
DieAReader Stacked📚 2y
charl08 On my wishlist. 2y
30 likes2 stack adds4 comments
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arlenefinnigan
My Name Is Why | Lemn Sissay
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Thoroughly enjoyed re-reading this on audio. Using a cast to read the letters and records works really well, and obviously as a performance poet Lemn Sissay is a brilliant narrator. If you haven‘t read this, you really should, it‘s an compelling, eloquent account of a remarkable story, and vital insight into the historic flaws in the British care system. If you have read it, it‘s well worth re-reading in a different format.

25 likes2 stack adds
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arlenefinnigan
My Name Is Why | Lemn Sissay
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Next up. I absolutely loved reading this in print, I'm really looking forward to rereading it on audio. #currentlyreading📚 #bookstagram #LockdownLit #BooksConnectUs

26 likes1 stack add
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arlenefinnigan
My Name Is Why | Lemn Sissay
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Today's daily deal on Audible. This was the best book I read last year and I'm looking forward to rereading it on audio.

Andrew65 Thanks for the tag, I will go and have a look. 😍 3y
MrsMalaprop Such a great book. I was lucky enough to see him speak & read from it last October 😍. 3y
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Cathythoughts @Birdsong28 Thanks 💕for the tag. Sounds really good 👍🏻 3y
Ms_T Thanks for the tag, @Birdsong28 😘 3y
Birdsong28 @Ms_T @Cathythoughts @Andrew65 It's ok. 😘 Is there an Easter sale on at the moment 3y
Ms_T @Birdsong28 Everything was half price last week but I think that ended yesterday. 3y
Birdsong28 @Ms_T Thanks 😘📚📖 3y
arlenefinnigan Half price sale finishes 10am tomorrow. 3y
36 likes9 comments
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ChloeRachelSnow
My Name Is Why | Lemn Sissay
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Pickpick

This sums up this book for me.

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MrsMalaprop
My Name Is Why | Lemn Sissay
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Pickpick

Oh my word. What an incredible read. I hadn‘t intended to start 2020 with consecutive memoirs, but I am so glad I did.

I was lucky enough to see Lemn Sissay read from & talk about this book at the Ubud Readers & Writers Festival last October. When I finally got my hands on a copy this week I had to bump it up the #tbr list.

A quick, page-turning, gut wrenching read about Lemn‘s life ‘in care‘ in the UK. So good, so bloody good. What a man 😍👏.

Rissreads Another one already on my list. 3y
Herschelian I see that Lemn Sissay is one of the judges for this year‘s Booker Prize. As is Lee Child‘s. 3y
43 likes2 comments
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ChloeRachelSnow
My Name Is Why | Lemn Sissay
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Amazon delivery to kick start of the New Year...

First up - My Name Is Why.

rather_be_reading welcome to litsy 📚☕📚 @LitsyWelcomeWagon 3y
ChloeRachelSnow Thank you! A little gem of a place for book recommendations. 3y
Eggs Welcome to Litsy 🥳 3y
5 likes4 comments
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Emilymdxn
My Name Is Why | Lemn Sissay
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Pickpick

Harrowing. I knew that Lemn Sissay was a famous poet, probably the most famous black British poet alive rn, but I had no idea about his experiences in care as a black child with no known family in the 70s. Children in care get forgotten about so much in British society and I‘m so grateful for him shedding light on it. I don‘t know if I could have shown the courage he did in those situations, keeping writing through the abuse.

arlenefinnigan I loved this book. 3y
69 likes4 stack adds1 comment
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squirrelbrain
My Name Is Why | Lemn Sissay
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Pickpick

Borrowed this from the library yesterday lunchtime and finished it on the train to work this morning.... I just couldn‘t put it down.

The poet Lemn tells of his childhood growing up in a foster home and care homes - #wil what I learned is that adults can be truly uncaring and that the care system in the UK is broken.

Despite his harsh upbringing, where he felt no love, Sissay still brings positivity to his story - a must-read.

#nfnov

arlenefinnigan I love this book so much. He's well worth following on Facebook/Twitter. 3y
squirrelbrain @arlenefinnigan - I would follow him if I did Facebook or Twitter... 😳 There‘s been a few press articles recently that have been fascinating.... 3y
Clwojick 9 pt. 3y
70 likes3 comments
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MrsMalaprop
My Name Is Why | Lemn Sissay
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Attending the Ubud Writers & Readers Festival 2019 in Bali, Indonesia. One of many highlights of Day One was Lemn Sissay reading from his memoir. 😍😢👏. So grateful to be here 🙏.

Libby1 My friend just saw him reading this at an event in Northern Ireland. Enjoy! 3y
LeahBergen Oh, now THAT‘S a destination for a book festival! 😍😍 3y
batsy @MrsMalaprop @LeahBergen I went to it once and it still remains one of the highlights of my life! ❤️ 3y
32 likes3 comments
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Debblyliz
My Name Is Why | Lemn Sissay
Pickpick

A powerful and emotional read about Lemn Sissay‘s journey through the British care system. A must read for anyone interested in working or already working with children especially children in care. Full review here: https://thecuriousmagpie2018.wordpress.com/2019/10/24/review-my-name-is-why-by-l...

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arlenefinnigan
My Name Is Why | Lemn Sissay
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Pickpick

This book is amazing & I cannot recommend it highly enough. A heartbreaking story of a stolen childhood. It's a great reflection on Lemn Sissay that he managed to not only survive such an unfair & brutal system but to go on to achieve what his talent deserves, but you should also be angry that he had to,& you have to wonder how many children have been left broken by the failings in the care system. How many ruined lives, how much wasted potential.

arlenefinnigan It's also important to point out that, while he was failed by the system, the kindnesses shown by some stand out - the social worker who fought his corner and stressed that the rejection by his foster parents wasn't his fault; the teacher who recognised his talent for poetry and gave him a copy of The Mersey Sound; the woman from the National Association of Young People In Care who gave him a biography of Bob Marley. 3y
arlenefinnigan Also, I love that each chapter starts with a poem. A fantastic read. I read it in print but having listened to some excerpts from the audiobook on radio 4, I think the audiobook would be a great way to enjoy it. 3y
Cinfhen Sounds like an #InfiniteTissueRead 😭😭😭 3y
arlenefinnigan @Cinfhen oh it really is. A lot of humour in there, but... A lot of very wrong things. 3y
27 likes1 stack add4 comments
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arlenefinnigan
My Name Is Why | Lemn Sissay
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Imagine being a teenager in an 'assessment centre' (detention centre) and writing this when asked to write about yourself for a psychological assessment.

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arlenefinnigan
My Name Is Why | Lemn Sissay
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"How Darkness runs
From melting shade
How bright the sun
How unafraid"

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arlenefinnigan
My Name Is Why | Lemn Sissay
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This book is heartbreaking.

24 likes1 stack add
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arlenefinnigan
My Name Is Why | Lemn Sissay
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What a lovely couple of weeks it's been. Paris; my favourite athlete, Katarina Johnson-Thompson, winning her first world championship; watching St Helens winning the grand final; and lots of reading and wine. Life is beautiful.

28 likes1 stack add
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arlenefinnigan
My Name Is Why | Lemn Sissay
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26 likes1 stack add
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arlenefinnigan
My Name Is Why | Lemn Sissay
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Looking forward to reading this