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My Name Is Why cover art

My Name Is Why

By: Lemn Sissay
Narrated by: Lemn Sissay, Richard Burnip, Zoe Mills
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Summary

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.

©2019 Lemn Sissay (P)2019 Canongate Books Ltd

What listeners say about My Name Is Why

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Lemn Sissay is an inspiration.

To all those in care, read / listen to this. Sissay is an inspiration, while struggling with loneliness and the longing to fit in he does manage to break through and make it through. He also opens his life to the world, here i am, here is who i am and learn from me. I loved listening to his voice throughout.

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tragic story overshadowed with great resilience

I loved the authenticity of the author's retelling of his story. his search for love, acceptance and connection was incredibly sad. his social worker seemed to be the only constant in his early life and I know this would sadly not be the case today

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3 people found this helpful

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Brilliant

Lemn takes you along on his journey, a very painful journey from the dark beginnings in to the light

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We can all learn for much from Lemn.

An incredible human. thank you for sharing your story, and inevitably the story of so many others.

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2 people found this helpful

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Incredible.

I cannot recommend this audiobook highly enough, and only improved by being narrated by the author, who better to tell their story from the heart. Honest, straight talking, full of heart and vulnerability.
I will definitely listen from the beginning again.
Only downside, it's only just over 4 hours long.

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Beautiful

I loved this book, incredible story lifted up with beautiful poetry and narrated beautifully too.

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Honest insight into a system that failed

Brilliant book, a bit of history recorded but not sensationalised.
I want to read Lemin Sissays poetry now.

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interesting look at sissay's life

good read, and well read by the author - bit bogged down by the amount of letters that are read out would maybe be better to actually read as opposed to audiobook.

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Very moving story

I loved this memoir by Lemn Sissay. He tells his story with humour and compassion despite the wrongs that were done to him. Hard to forget. A must for anyone involved in the caring services who wields power with respect to the lives of others.

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amazing and poetic

I listened to this in one sitting. A range of emotions from anger, empathy, sadness and disbelief.
Lemn's courage and honestly shines through and I thoroughly enjoyed this performance by all who took part.

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