Kit de Waal grew up in a household of opposites. Her haphazard mother forbade Christmas and birthdays, and believed the world would end in 1975. Her father sent barrels of goodies to his relatives in the Caribbean, cooked elaborate meals, and splurged money they didn’t have.
Caught between three worlds, Irish, Caribbean and British in 1960s Birmingham, Kit and her siblings knew all the words to the best songs, caught sticklebacks in jam jars and braved hunger and hellfire until they could all escape.
Without Warning and Only Sometimes is a story of an extraordinary childhood and how a girl who grew up in house where the Bible was the only book on offer went on to discover a love of reading that inspires her to this day.
Kit de Waal is the author of the novels My Name is Leon and The Trick to Time and editor of the Common People anthology. My Name is Leon was adapted for the BBC, starring and produced by Sir Lenny Henry.
In this special event, Kit will be joined on stage for the first time, by her brother the screen writer, Dean O’Loughlin, who also starred in the second series of Big Brother in 2001.
Kit and Dean will be interviewed by Lynsey Hanley, whose books include Estates and Respectable: The Experience of Class. She’s a regular contributor to the Guardian and the TLS.