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Jackie Kay

Alasdair Gray told her to be writer, and what he says, goes...

09/11/1961 -
  • Jackie Kay MBE is a Scottish poet and novelist. She was born in Edinburgh in 1961 to a Scottish mother and a Nigerian father and then adopted as a baby by a white Scottish couple, Helen and John Kay.

  • Initially harbouring ambitions to be an actress, she decided to concentrate on writing after Alasdair Gray, a Scottish artist and writer, read her poetry and told her that writing is what she should be doing.
  • She studied English at the University of Stirling and her first book of poetry, the partially autobiographical The Adoption Papers, was published in 1991 and won the Saltire Society Scottish First Book Award.
  • Kay has produced an extensive amount of literary works, including Fiere  and Red Cherry Red and Reality, Reality. Some of her work is used in the GCSE Edexcel Syllabus, such as, Brendon Gallacher, Lucozade and Yellow.

Book and writing awards

Shortlisted for the Costa Book Awards 2011 for Fiere, Guardian Fiction Prize 1998 for Trumpet, Scottish Book of the Year (shortlisted) for The Lamplighter and the Scottish Mortgage Investment Trust Book of The Year Award for Red Dust Road.

Similar authors to Jackie Kay

Toni MorrisonVikram Seth and Louis de Bernieres.

By the author

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Scotland's Stories of Home

Posted on 25th Nov, 2014 by Rob Chilver & Waterstones

For Book Week Scotland, read Alan Warner's Story of Home.