To celebrate forthcoming publication of Unmothered by A.J Akoto, we caught up with A.J to talk about every aspect of her debut collection, from the inspiration behind it, to her use of myth, and the complexities and challenges of writing about your own life.
We’ll be releasing chunks of this conversation every Monday lunchtime for the next few weeks. First up, A.J speaks to Cherry Potts about the initial inspiration for Unmothered, and how it was born from a need to speak into the silence that surrounds difficult mother-daughter relationships.
Publishing on 13th July, Unmothered is an intimate and unflinching collection that tracks the complex bind of mother-daughter relationships. Through separations and attempts to mend, longing and the fluidity of myth/story-telling in defining histories and identities, she collapses the elision between womanhood and mother/daughterhood.
“Every word in this stunning debut collection deserves its place on the page. Akoto skilfully stitches fragments of love, along with forgiveness, compassion, and insight, into the fabric of her life.” Louisa Adoja Parker
The group is public so anyone can join, read and comment. You can always ask more questions, which Alex will answer if & when she notices them! (We get an email when someone posts, so should be able to prompt if necessary).
If we can get the technology to work, Alex will be live on skype from Cape Town tomorrow (Wednesday 23rd) at The Story Sessions, at theCafe of Good Hope 216 Hither Green Lane, SE13 6RT.Doors 7pm. £3.
Devilskein & Dearlove is after the interval – so you can grab the mic and ask her something ‘face to face’ (ear to ear??). If we don’t manage that, you can at least listen to a section being read by the lovely Malini Stevenson, and catch up with our other readers and authors present in person. You can even join in with your own YA influenced 100 word ‘Flash From The Floor’.
If you have a GoodReads account, join us on Monday 21st July at 7pm for live Q&A with Alex Smith, you can join the group now, and leave questions about Alex’s writing and Devilskein & Dearlove in particular, as soon as you like. If you aren’t already on GoodReads it’s very simple to join, you can sign in via Facebook or twitter. We are also running a giveaway (UK only) on GoodReads from 21st July to the end of the month to celebrate publication of Devilskein & Dearlove on 24th July – see below.