My Thoughts on the autobiography My Name is Why by poet Lemn Sissay.

At the age of 17, after a childhood in an fostered 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 triumph.  

Sissay reflects on a childhood in care, 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.


Rating: 4 out of 5.

It doesn’t feel right to say I enjoyed reading this book, because this is a non-fiction book on Sissay’s childhood in care and

You know I read non-fiction and when I read stories on children that have grown up in the care system, it’s a broke system. We have broke systems throughout this country.

It’s a read, is what I will say. Read it. Then go read the man’s poetry too.


Want to point out, not readable electronically. There are case notes throughout the book and they are hard to read. Buy the book http://Waterstones or you can listen to it for free with an audible trial.

Contains affiliate links. Doesn’t cost you anything, helps me out if you click on ‘em. Thank you.

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