‘The desire for authentic representations of girlhood is like searching for water in a desert,’ said Roxane Gay in 2012. Since then, the Nebraska-raised writer has brought issues of gender, race and identity into the American mainstream media. Gay has worked with acclaimed Scottish poet and novelist Jackie Kay to create a series of events featuring writers whose work operates at the intersection of various forms of identity. Among the authors Kay will interview are Margo Jefferson, author of Baillie Gifford Prize-shortlisted memoir Negroland, and iO Tillett Wright, whose Darling Days is a devastatingly powerful portrayal of gender and identity.
Reni Eddo-Lodge, iO Tillett Wright* with Jackie Kay (*iO Tillett Wright has cancelled*)
LET'S TALK ABOUT IDENTITY, RACE AND GENDER
Saturday 19 August 5:45pm - 6:45pm
Roxane Gay’s writing blends feminism with honesty. So too does Jackie Kay’s. Continuing their series of events, Kay talks to two authors who have written candidly about inequality. Journalist Reni Eddo-Lodge’s impassioned blog Why I’m No Longer Talking to White People About Race went viral and the subsequent book is a vital exploration of privilege, class, gender and denial. Photographer-actor-writer iO Tillett Wright, whose TED talk '50 Shades of Gay' has been watched by over 2 million viewers, brings us her heartfelt memoir, Darling Days, describing the bedlam of downtown New York in the eighties where she came of age at the intersection of punk, poverty, heroin, and art. Join them for an illuminating discussion.
Gabriela Cabezón Cámara, Thordis Elva & Courtney Sina Meredith with Jackie Kay
21ST CENTURY WOMEN
Saturday 19 August 8:45pm - 9:45pm
Today, Jackie Kay brings together guests from three remarkably different continents. Argentinian novelist Gabriela Cabezón Cámara’s Slum Virgin tells the story of Cleopatra, a transvestite who renounces prostitution after the Virgin Mary appears before her. Icelandic writer Thordis Elva explains what made her decide to re-enter a dialogue with the man who had raped her 20 years earlier. Meanwhile, New Zealander Courtney Sina Meredith talks about her debut book of short stories Tail of the Taniwha.
Margo Jefferson with Jackie Kay
FEMINISM AND CIVIL RIGHTS
Sunday 20 August 8:45pm - 9:45pm
Pulitzer Prize and National Book Award-winning cultural critic Margo Jefferson is the author of a bold, defiant and astonishingly accomplished memoir, Negroland. Powerfully demonstrating that a ‘post-racial’ America is far from being a reality, Jefferson explores the challenge of reconciling feminism (often regarded as a white woman’s terrain) with black power (sometimes seen as a black male issue). Jefferson discusses her compelling life story with Scotland’s Makar, the poet and novelist Jackie Kay.
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