Thursday 3 May 2018

Masterclass with Kerry Young

By Nakisha Towers 

On Monday 30th April, novelist Kerry Young came to give a writing masterclass on Memory and Fiction as part of the Creative Writing MA. The masterclass was also open to other students and the public. 

Young, writer of three novels, Pao, Gloria and Show Me A Mountain, was born in Kingston, Jamaica, to a Chinese father and a mother of mixed Chinese-African heritage. She has used her childhood and upbringing as inspiration for her novels. In the masterclass, she spoke about her ‘half-remembered’ memories as a child, and the process of reshaping these experiences as an adult and constructing a work of fiction around them.

Kerry read out an extract from Pao, and  she did so in the distinctive Jamaican accent in which it is intended to be read – it was captivating! Although this was primarily a workshop, Kerry has a wealth of experience and advice that left me feeling inspired and informed. In particular she spoke of the importance of pin-pointing what it is that drives us as writers, our core values; because once we understand what it is that is driving us, we’ll understand what it is that we are writing – and become better writers for it.

A truly remarkable woman. Admittedly, I hadn’t read any of Kerry’s novels, but after the workshop, I immediately bought all three!

Nakisha Towers is a student on the MA in Creative Writing at the University of Leicester.

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