Hello and welcome back to You Wrote the Book, with Simon Savidge. Each fortnight Simon is joined by a special guest author to discuss their life as a writer and as a reader.
This episode Simon’s special guest the author Kit de Waal, whose debut novel My Name is Leon is a book that you should all be getting onto your bedside table and read as soon as you can.
A brother chosen. A brother left behind. And a family where you’d least expect to find one. Leon is nine, and has a perfect baby brother called Jake. They have gone to live with Maureen, who has fuzzy red hair like a halo, and a belly like Father Christmas. But the adults are speaking in low voices, and wearing Pretend faces. They are threatening to give Jake to strangers. Since Jake is white and Leon is not. As Leon struggles to cope with his anger, certain things can still make him smile – like Curly Wurlys, riding his bike fast downhill, burying his hands deep in the soil, hanging out with Tufty (who reminds him of his dad), and stealing enough coins so that one day he can rescue Jake and his mum. Evoking a Britain of the early eighties, My Name is Leon is a heart-breaking story of love, identity and learning to overcome unbearable loss. Of the fierce bond between siblings. And how – just when we least expect it – we manage to find our way home.
Simon had the pleasure of interviewing Kit earlier this week and talking all about about My Name is Leon. They discuss adoption, racism, love, family, books and much more.
Over the next few weeks and months Simon will be back with a whole host of authors. In the meantime if you would like to suggest authors you think Simon should be getting on the show, or simply want to have a natter about books, you can email firstname.lastname@example.org or find us on twitter @youwrotethebook.
If you want to hear Simon talking more books do join him every other week with Thomas Otto on The Readers Podcast, you can also find him chatting and reviewing book on his blog Savidge Reads. Don’t forget to subscribe to the podcast on iTunes where you can find previous episodes with Rose Tremain, Christos Tsiolkas, Evie Wyld, Armistead Maupin, Helen Macdonald, Hanya Yanagihara, Richard Flanagan, Jessie Burton, Michel Faber, Emily St John Mandel and many more.