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The Adoption Papers Paperback – 3 Jan 1998

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Product details

  • Paperback: 64 pages
  • Publisher: Bloodaxe Books Ltd (3 Jan. 1998)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 185224156X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1852241568
  • Product Dimensions: 21.6 x 13.9 x 0.5 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 107,910 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

About the Author

Jackie Kay was an adopted child of Scottish/Nigerian descent brought up by white parents in Glasgow. She is one of Britain's best-known poets, appearing frequently on radio and TV programmes on poetry and culture.  In 2007 Bloodaxe published Darling: New & Selected Poems, which included almost all of her four previous books of poetry from Bloodaxe, The Adoption Papers (1991), Other Lovers (1993), Off Colour (1998) and Life Mask (2005).  Her epic poem The Lamplighter, adapted for both radio and stage, was published by Bloodaxe in 2008, was followed by Fiere from Picador in 2011.

Jackie Kay's fiction and non-fiction (from Picador) has been massively popular: her novel Trumpet (1998), two collections of short stories, Why Don't You Stop Talking? (2002) and Wish I Was Here (2006), and her memoir Red Dust Road (2010), which won the Scottish Mortgage Investment Trust Book of the Year Award in 2011. She won the Somerset Maugham Award with Other Lovers, the Guardian Fiction Prize for Trumpet, Decibel Writer of the Year for Wish I Was Here and has twice won the Signal Poetry Award for her children's poetry. Her fourth book of poetry for children, Red Cherry, Red, was published by Bloomsbury in 2007. The Adoption Papers is a set text on numerous school and university courses. She lives in Manchester, and was awarded an MBE for services to literature in 2006.

She is Professor of Creative Writing at Newcastle University, and co-edited the anthology Out of Bounds (Bloodaxe Books / Newcastle University, 2012) with James Procter and Gemma Robinson.

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Ray Smith on 16 Sept. 2010
Format: Paperback
Jackie Kay writes about subjects often not dealt with by poetry - such as, here, adoption, cultural identity, racism, sexuality.

This is an highly enjoyable, original, stimulating, accessible collection. A must have for your poetry library, even if you don't normally read poetry.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Mr. J. Glendenning on 29 Jan. 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I was given a choice of three poetry collections to read and review as part of my university course, and I chose The Adoption Papers. Honestly, it was all down to price and the fact that I could get this one delivered to my Kindle app for Android. I knew nothing about the collection and had never heard of the poet before my tutor mentioned her name to me.

The Adoption Papers is split into two halves; the first, the eponymous poem 'The Adoption Papers', detailing the poet's own emotional journey through finding out about being adopted and how she, her foster mother and her birth mother came to deal with that. The poem is written from the three females' points of view, denoted through different font faces. The story is well detailed, the poem is not what you expect, and, most of all, is riveting.

The second half of the collection is a series of individual poems, which are also good reads; though I much preferred the first half of the collection. There are multiple poems grappling with the idea of homosexuality and the effect on one's life this has.

I heartily recommend the collection to new poetry readers, experienced readers and everything in between.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Ms P Bucknall on 22 Dec. 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I thoroughly enjoyed this book which covers the author;s search for her birth parents with humour and honesty. It describes the emotions, fears, disappointments and joys of an adopted person's journey to discover their roots, and throws light on an experience not often made public. Too often 'reunions' between adopted people and their birth familes is treated in a shallow and romantic way, and problems and realities are not explained.
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36 of 44 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 11 Feb. 2003
Format: Paperback
I studied this collection of poetry last year, having not really read any of Jackie Kay's poetry before. The first thing which struck me was how Kay is able to put ideas forward in a way which includes her reader completely; it is very easy to see where she is coming from. "The Adoption Papers" is actually the title of a poem, seperated into 'chapters', which relates the story of a white couple adopting a black baby (Kay is a black writer who was actually adopted, although how 'autobiographical' this poem may be is debateable). This poem makes up the first section of the poetry volume, "Severe Gale 8" is the second half. Severe Gale 8 is a collection of shorter poems, some re-exploring themes from the previous section.
Both of the sections deal with issues such as the question of how important origins are to peolpe as they grow up as well as what constitutes a 'normal' family unit.
What I liked about this collection of poetry is that it is modern, it deals with issues which remain to be very relevant to today's society. Contentious issues are discussed instead of being shied away from, and are done so in a way which makes you stop as you read the poems, in order to consider what is being said.
Although Kay may not have the same direct humour as other poets, such as Carol Ann Duffy, her poetry is still very entertaining. A good read generally.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Ann J. Pearson on 21 April 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Having an adopted son, we are particularly interested in Jackie Kay's writing, and she has great talent. But her writing is for EVERYONE.
Ann
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Ms. M. Kolodziej on 21 Feb. 2009
Format: Paperback
Moving and humorous, JK uses language skilfully and evocatively. She is an exceptional poet in that anyone can read and appreciate her without being a big fan of poetry.
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By Anthony on 20 Nov. 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Jackie Kay writes the three perspectives of Mother, Daughter and Adopted Mother thoughtfully and beautifully. This ebook accurately portrays the paper back (no missing words or misinterpretations) and is easy to follow.

If you like thought provoking poetry that grasps you from the first page than I would highly recommend 'The Adoption Papers'.
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