The Adoption Papers

The Adoption Papers

Jackie Kay / Jun 17, 2019

The Adoption Papers Jackie Kay tells the story of a black girl s adoption by a white Scottish couple from three different viewpoints the mother the birth mother and the daughter

  • Title: The Adoption Papers
  • Author: Jackie Kay
  • ISBN: 9781852241568
  • Page: 327
  • Format: Paperback
  • Jackie Kay tells the story of a black girl s adoption by a white Scottish couple from three different viewpoints the mother, the birth mother, and the daughter.

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      327 Jackie Kay
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    About "Jackie Kay"

      • Jackie Kay

        Born in Glasgow in 1961 to a Scottish mother and a Nigerian father, Kay was adopted by a white couple, Helen and John Kay, as a baby Brought up in Bishopbriggs, a Glasgow suburb, she has an older adopted brother, Maxwell as well as siblings by her adoptive parents.Kay s adoptive father worked full time for the Communist Party and stood for election as a Member of Parliament, and her adoptive mother was the secretary of the Scottish Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament CND.Initially harbouring ambitions to be an actress, she decided to concentrate on writing after encouragement by Alasdair Gray She studied English at the University of Stirling and her first book of poetry, the partially autobiographical The Adoption Papers, was published in 1991, and won the Saltire Society Scottish First Book Award Her other awards include the 1994 Somerset Maugham Award for Other Lovers, and the Guardian Fiction Prize for Trumpet, based on the life of American jazz musician Billy Tipton, born Dorothy Tipton, who lived as a man for the last fifty years of her life.Kay writes extensively stage, screen, and for children In 2010 she published Red Dust Road, an account of her search for her birth parents, a white Scottish woman, and a Nigerian man Her birth parents met when her father was a student at Aberdeen University and her mother was a nurse Her drama The Lamplighter is an exploration of the Atlantic slave trade It was broadcast on BBC Radio 3 in March 2007 and published in poem form in 2008.Jackie Kay became a Member of the Order of the British Empire MBE on 17 June 2006 She is currently Professor of Creative Writing at Newcastle University Kay lives in Manchester.Jackie Kay was born and brought up in Scotland THE ADOPTION PAPERS Bloodaxe, 1991 won the Forward Prize, a Saltire prize and a Scottish Arts Council Prize DARLING was a poetry book society choice FIERE, her most recent collection of poems was shortlisted for the COSTA award Her novel TRUMPET won the Guardian Fiction Award and was shortlisted for the IMPAC award RED DUST ROAD, Picador won the Scottish Book of the Year Award, was shortlisted for the JR ACKERLEY prize and the LONDON BOOK AWARD She was awarded an MBE in 2006, and made a fellow of the Royal Society of Literature in 2002 Her book of stories WISH I WAS HERE won the Decibel British Book Award She also writes for children and her book RED CHERRY RED Bloomsbury won the CLYPE award She has written extensively for stage and television Her play MANCHESTER LINES produced by Manchester Library Theatre was on this year in Manchester Her new book of short stories REALITY, REALITY was recently published by Picador She is Professor of Creative Writing at Newcastle University.


    1. The Adoption Papers is the story of a girls adoption, by a white Scottish couple. It is told by several different viewpoints. The mother, the birth mother and the daughter. I was adopted at a few months old, and it was an emotional roller-coaster for me, to finally understand the whole process of what my birth mother went through, and my adoptive mother too. I still have unanswered questions, that will never be answered.This book makes for emotional reading. I mean, it is difficult to adopt a ch [...]

    2. I love Jackie Kay's style of taking different perspectives and interweaving them. The first half of this book, The Adoption Papers, is thought-provoking and uncomfortable. The adoptive mother's perspective is the strongest for me, the most fleshed out, but perhaps I only feel that as a white woman who'd like to adopt! Or perhaps it's because she has power over the other two voices, or because Kay is drawing on her intimate, nuanced knowing of her mother. The two other voices are more about body- [...]

    3. I have my parents who are not of the same tree/and you keep trying to make it matter,/the blood, the tie, the passing down/generations./We all have our contradictions, /the ones with the mother's nose/and father's eyes/have them;/the blood does not bind confusion, /yet I confess to my contradiction/I want to know my blood.

    4. I found the poems in The Adoption Papers really enjoyable. I found the different texts used for each voice confusing at first but soon got the hang of it. What impressed is how much information Kay is able to convey in a few lines. She manages to condense a whole novel in a few stanzas. There were a few moments when I felt a lump in my throat. The Adoption Papers makes very emotional reading. The bonus poems included were also really enjoyable. Parts of The Adoption Papers has been adapted for s [...]

    5. I liked this. The writing I didn't rate much in terms of poetry (but that's just me) but I liked the subject matter. It examines interracial adoption, with the conflicting feelings about the blood tie meaning nothing when family is family, and yet to know one's lineage and heritage. Very good all in all.

    6. Loved it, especially the first part of the collection that deals with the adoption, the poet's early years and the experience of racism. I would read it on the bus and my eyes would fill with tears I tried to hide. I think the device of having three voices (the self, the adoptive mother and the birth mother) worked really well -- a device frequently used in fiction but not so common in poetry.

    7. One of my favourite poets - this is her earliest collection which explores the intricacies of the relationships between mother, adoptive mother and adopted and birth child - some lovely writing about music and its importance in black culture.

    8. After reading four collections of Jackie Kay's poetry now, this first (her first published, and my first encounter with her) remains the standout. Her technique may have improved over time, but that's never the heart and soul of Kay's poetry; what's important are the themes, often of identity, culture and self-knowledge.This book is important because of the eponymous sequence, which gives a semi-autobiographical account of the adoption of a mixed-race girl by white, Scottish, socialist parents i [...]

    9. Next diverseathon read and this was a good one! Just stumbled across this on my library's overdrive and thought I'd give it a go , and it was definitely my kind of thing; from a Scottish poet with lots of references to Glasgow, about a black girl adopted by white parents and some lowkey themes on sexuality. I definitely think the start was stronger but the rest of it was good too and it was nice to reintroduce myself to some poetry after being away from it for so long (Poetry & Poetics lectu [...]

    10. Absolutely charming interviewee on CBC program a few months back - a Scottish writer of biologically African/Scottish Highlands background who was adopted into a family of radical Scottish Communists. The poems in here about her adoption quest are really interesting but the book wanders a bit. Read her book "Trumpet" about a woman cross-dressing as a man in the early Jazz years and liked it, so am trying a book of her short stories now too

    11. Jackie Kay has a unique writing style that manages to capture the reader straight away. She has many interesting stories to tell, and having met her in person and listening to her read it's clear to say she is passionate about her work

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