There are some literary works that stay with you for a long time. The sort that you may also revisit every once in a while. Balancing warmth with a straight-talking honesty, Jackie Kay’s Red Dust Road is one of these novels. We were thrilled to find out that Red Dust Road has been adapted for the stage by Tanika Gupta in a world premiere production by the National Theatre of Scotland and HOME Manchester.
Winner of the Scottish Book of the Year in 2011
Winner of the Scottish Book of the Year in 2011, Red Dust Road is a personal and moving memoir by Scottish writer and poet Jackie Kay. A beautifully frank account of her experiences growing up in 1970s’ Scotland as a mixed-race child adopted by a white Scottish couple.
Taking us from Nairn to Lagos, Red Dust Road tracks the moment Kay realises that her skin is a different colour from her beloved mum and dad, to the tracing and searching for her Highland mother and Nigerian father birth parents.
identity and belonging encompass much more than our genetic makeup
Facing the challenges of growing up as a mixed-race adopted Scot, Kay explores the idea that identity and belonging encompass much more than our genetic makeup. Our experiences shape us – we are shaped by songs just as much as by cells – and what triumphs, ultimately, is love.
Most poignantly, HOME is a place close to Kay’s heart. She has been a patron of the Mancunian cultural hub since it opened in 2015. It seems perfectly fitting that the stage adaptation of her award-winning memoir should play out here.