My Name Is Why
At the age of seventeen, after a childhood in an adopted 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. Here Sissay recounts his life story. It is a story of neglect and determination. Misfortune and hope. Cruelty and beauty.
Sissay reflects on adoption, 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 voices, this moving, frank and timely memoir is the result of a life spent asking questions, and a celebration of the redemptive power of creativity.
About the Author
Lemn Sissay MBE is an award-winning writer, poet, performer playwright, artist and broadcaster. He has read on stage throughout the world: from The Library of Congress in The United States to the Botanic Gardens of Singapore.
He was awarded an MBE for services to literature by The Queen and was the first poet commissioned to write for the London Olympics and poet of the FA Cup. He is Poet Laureate of Canterbury.