Aged 17, after a childhood in foster care and a series of care homes, Norman Greenwood was given his birth certificate. It revealed that his real name was Lemn Sissay, and that his mother was Ethiopian. He also discovered that she had been pleading for his safe return since the day he was taken from her. In a memoir that is both heartbreaking and inspiring, illustrated with copies of the documents which tell his "official" story, Sissay-now one of our best-known poets-reveals how he overcame his early experience of trauma and neglect, through determination, and the redemptive power of his creativity.
During his childhood, Sissay suffered years of abuse in care, being fostered by a family who came to believe the devil was in him because he took biscuits without asking, only to find out years later that his Ethiopian-born birth mother had been pleading for his return. Fans of his writing will have been waiting for his memoir. He has an extraordinary story to tell.