Unapologetic, raw yet graceful, Lidia Yuknavitch's memoir weaves in breathless prose a powerful story of self-expression, charting early abuse, addiction, homelessness, self-sabotage, and desire, while coming of age as a writer. All this is underpinned by two constants, the exhilaration/solace of being in water and rage/resilience it takes to be a woman. An extraordinary book.
Join us as we welcome Charlie Brinkhurst-Cuff, Riaz Phillips, and Sharmaine Lovegrove to discuss the new anthology, Mother Country: Real Stories of the Windrush Children.
For the pioneers of the Windrush generation, Britain was 'the Mother Country'. They made the long journey across the sea, expecting to find a place where they would be welcomed with open arms; a land in which you were free to build a new life, eight thousand miles away from home.
This remarkable book explores the reality of their experiences, and those of their children and grandchildren, through 22 unique real-life stories spanning more than 70 years.
Charlie Brinkhurst-Cuff is an award-winning journalist and editor, writing about race, feminism, culture and social politics. She is deputy editor at gal-dem, a columnist at the i paper, a writer and editor for Dazed, and a freelance journalist for the Guardian, the FT, and VICE. In 2017 Charlie won the Georgina Henry Award for Innovation in Journalism, and she is also a regular panelist and speaker on radio and TV.
Riaz Phillips is a London-based writer and photographer. Born in Hackney and raised in north London, he studied politics and economics at university in London followed by postgraduate study at Oxford. After this, he founded Tezeta Press – a publishing house dedicated to under-represented ideas and cultures. Its first release, Belly Full: Caribbean Food in the UK, documents Britain's hidden Caribbean history.
With her new memoir Insomnia, Marina Benjamin has produced an unsettling account of an unsettling condition that treats our inability to sleep not as a disorder, but as an existential experience that can electrify our understanding of ourselves, and of creativity and love.
Insomnia is a bravura piece of writing. At once philosophical and poetical, the book ranges widely over history and culture, literature and art, exploring a threshold experience that is intimately involved with trespass and contamination: the illicit importing of day into night. With Insomnia, Benjamin aims to light up the workings of our inner minds, delivering a startlingly fresh look at what it means to be wakeful in the dark.
Marina Benjamin is a writer and editor. Her most recent books are The Middlepause, Rocket Dreams, shortlisted for the Eugene Emme Award, and Last Days in Babylon, longlisted for the Wingate Prize. As a journalist, she's written for most of the British broadsheets and served as arts editor at the New Statesman and deputy arts editor at the Evening Standard. She is currently a senior editor at the digital magazine Aeon.
Colin Grant is an author whose books include A Smell of Burning: A Memoir of Epilepsy, Bageye at the Wheel: A 1970s Childhood in Suburbia, and Negro with a Hat: The Rise and Fall of Marcus Garvey and His Dream of Mother Africa. He is also a historian, Associate Fellow in the Centre for Caribbean Studies, and a BBC radio producer.