Books of the year 2010 | Michael Rosen

Red Dust Road by Jackie Kay


Jackie Kay was adopted and raised by two loving parents, but just a few years ago she went in search of her birth parents. This took her to Nigeria to meet her father and to Scotland to meet her mother. Time is collapsed in Red Dust Road (Picador, £16.99), as we pass between the encounters with all four parents, the places of childhood and Jackie's parenting of her own son, so a book that initially seems to be an exploration of what it means to be brought up becomes a meditation on how we share cultures through contact with each other. It moved me, troubled me and got me thinking about how we treat each other.

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This article first appeared in the 22 November 2010 issue of the New Statesman, Advantage Cameron