As part of the Black, Brown and Green Voices Series, in collaboration with NYU's John Brademas Center, the African American Irish Diaspora Network and NYPL Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, we present a public interview with acclaimed British writer Kit de Waal, with an introduction by NYU's Professor Kimberly DaCosta.
Kit grew up in 1960s Birmingham to an Irish mother and a Caribbean father. Her debut novel, My Name is Leon (Viking), was shortlisted for the Costa First Book Award, won the Kerry Group Irish Novel of the Year and was adapted into a film for BBC 1. The Trick to Time was longlisted for the Women’s Prize for Fiction and she has also written a short story collection, Supporting Cast (both published by Penguin). She is the editor of the Common People Anthology (Unbound) and co-founder of the Big Book Weekend festival. Kit's gripping memoir, Without Warning and Only Sometimes: Scenes from an Unpredictable Childhood (Headline, 2022), charts how varied and unpredictable de Waal's childhood often felt.
Black, Brown and Green Voices represents a documentation strategy and public humanities initiative which aims to amplify the diversity of the Irish diaspora by recording interviews with Black and Brown Irish Americans and those who speak to the Black experience in Ireland and the Irish diaspora. The project director is historian Dr. Miriam Nyhan Grey who has been affiliated with New York University since 2008 and is a founding board member of the African American Irish Diaspora Network.