Exploring mixed race experiences
Vauxhall is the debut novel by author Gabriel Gbadamosi, who is mixed race (Irish/Nigerian). Gabriel who is also a poet, essayist and playwright who has previously presented for the BBC World Service, is a current presenter for Radio 3 Nightwaves and founded the Irish Irregulars Theatre Company. He has held fellowships at Goldsmith University in European and African performance and at Cambridge University in Creative Writing.
Vauxhall, published by Telegram books in May 2013, draws on Gabriel’s experiences growing up in an Irish-Yoruba family, telling the tale of a young boy called Michael growing up in Lambeth, a culturally diverse inner city London borough during the 1970’s. “Police, methylated tramps, Nigerian royalty, gypsies, Irish aunts, teachers, thieves, cockneys and homesick Jamaicans clamour for young Michael’s attention. His world is bursting with all walks of Lambeth life in the early 1970s. Among the terraces, railway arches, bombsites and river mud of Vauxhall, he discovers the meaning of slum clearance: the world he knows is disappearing. As his certainty in the fragile world around him begins to crumble so too does his parent’s relationship and his mother’s health. Vauxhall is a tender and occasionally dark portrait of a child looking for his place in inner city London.”
In the video below Gabriel reads from Vauxhall and talks about becoming aware of his parents cultural markings. Gabriel describes that as a boy he had not noticed the 16 tribal scars that splayed across his father’s cheeks until his friends pointed them out and that he had not been aware of his mothers Irish accent, which he heard as neutral. These attributes being so familiar to the young Gabriel that he had not recognised them.
Gabriel will be reading from his novel at events throughout London and at the Hay Literary Festival during May 2013;
8 May (Freeword Centre, Farringdon) more
14 May (Launch at Cassandra Goad, Sloane Street)
16 May (Herne Hill Books at the Commercial Pub) more
22 May (Pinter Centre, Goldsmiths)
29 May (How The Light Gets In Festival, Hay) more
31 May (Walk around Vauxhall, Vauxhall Society) more
He’ll be presenting Vauxhall at London’s Southbank Centre as part of the London Lit Festival 13 on Saturday 1st June 2013. Click here for further information.
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