ABOUT THIS BOOK
PUBLICATION DATE: August 6, 2020
By (author) Jackie Kay
The Lamplighter takes us on a journey through the dark heart of slavery. Produced both as a radio and stage play, it also reads as a stirring and a multi-layered poem. Four women and one man tell the story of their lives through slavery, from the the fort, to the slave ship, through the middle passage, following life on the plantations, charting the growth of the British city and the industrial revolution. The Lamplighter focuses on parts of history other books rarely touch upon, revealing the devastating human cost of slavery for individual people. Constance has had to witness the sale of her own child; Mary has been beaten to an inch of her life; Black Harriot has had to become a high class whore; and our lead, the Lamplighter was sold twice into slavery from the ports in Bristol. All four very different voices tell their story, in a rousing chorus that speaks to the experiences of all those oppressed by the slave trade, lifting in the end to a soaring and rally conclusion.Radical and widely acclaimed when it was first staged, this groundbreaking play from one of our most beloved poets and writers, Jackie Kay, remains as urgent and daring to this day.
Reviews of The Lamplighter
Kay's strength as a poet has always been her clear, plain style, and its fearless spoken poignancy * Daily Telegraph * One of Scotlands most celebrated living writers. * Spectator *
Jackie Kay was born in Edinburgh. She is the third modern Makar, the Scottish poet laureate. A poet, novelist and writer of short stories, she has enjoyed great acclaim for her work for both adults and children. Her novel Trumpet won the Guardian Fiction Prize. She is also the author of collections of stories with Picador, Why Don’t You Stop Talking, Wish I Was Here, and Reality, Reality; a poetry collection, Fiere; and a memoir, Red Dust Road. She is Professor of Creative Writing at Newcastle University, and lives in Manchester, where she is currently Chancellor of the University of Salford.
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