Jackie Kay

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Jackie Gray in 2015

Jacqueline Margaret Kay, CBE, FRSE, FRSL (born 9 November 1961) is a Scottish poet, playwright, and novelist, known for her works Other Lovers (1993), Trumpet (1998) and Red Dust Road (2011). Kay has won many awards, including the Somerset Maugham Award in 1994, the Guardian Fiction Prize in 1998 and the Scottish Mortgage Investment Trust Book of the Year Award in 2011.


  • For me it was a lot of fun. It was exciting. There were lots of people who came to stay from different parts of the world. You would come down in the morning and there would be different bodies on the floor or on the sofa. There would be Party socials in the house where people would sing songs and recite poems. It was a very social upbringing…
  • …I like the idea that stories are active, that if you stepped on them they would become alive, like plants, and that the same memory can grow new shoots and flowers, and can change over the course of people’s lives…
  • I found that being pregnant was different from how I thought it would be…It shares a lot in common with writing in a way. You have an imaginary version of yourself pregnant, and an imaginary baby, an imaginary idea of yourself as a mother…
  • Even though there’s a massive amount of people of colour now living in Scotland…this country is 30 or 40 years behind any other English city in terms of racial attitudes and integration. There’s no proper acknowledgement of the slave trade and how many Scottish cities were founded on money from that. Our children are just not taught that history.

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