Books Non-Fiction Reviews

Red Dust Road by Jackie Kay

December 18, 2017

I was genuinely shocked by how much I enjoyed this. Another one we were required to read for our course but I found myself stuck between wanting to finish this as soon as possible and wanting to savour it. When I'm in that dilemma I know I truly love a book. 

This is an autobiography following the life of Jackie Kay (who is actually the Chancellor of my University) as she meets her birth parents for the first time. Her biological mother hails from the Highlands in Scotland and her father is from Nigeria. This book is full of heartwarming, heart wrenching and eye wateringly funny moments. I love how she managed to make, what I can only as is an incredibly daunting topic humorous. We were fortunate enough to get a lecture from Jackie where she said that she struggled to get the tone of this book right. The first time it felt far too self pitying but the end result is phenomenal. 

I learnt so much about so many different cultures, just as Jackie did as she recounts when she flew to Nigeria for the first time. Whilst moving through this narrative I really liked that she added certain scenes from the past into it too in their own little chapter. Although they weren't set during the present they still added to the overall narrative. It's easy to tell that she's a poet, even though this is a memoir the style of writing was beautiful. So lyrical and descriptive. Annnnnd, which is one of my favourite things - often Jackie would write phonetically and depict how words sound in the Scottish accent. I don't know why but when I see that in books it always makes me smile. 

If you haven't read this then please do. It's a wonderful read. 


Name: Red Dust Road

Author(s): Jackie Kay 

Publisher: Picador 

Pages: 289

ISBN: 978-0-330-45106-2

Rating: 4.5/5

Have you read Red Dust Road? 

What did you think?

Thank-you for reading,

Katie x

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