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Kit de Waal

Photo: Justin David

Kit de Waal - Without Warning
Kit de Waal - My Name is Leon
Click the images to buy from Waterstones

Kit de Waal

Without Warning and Only Sometimes

Saturday 15 April, 11.30am
Event Space, Central Milton Keynes Library,

555 Silbury Blvd, Milton Keynes MK9 3HL
Tickets: £8

'Vivid and compelling and so moving... Kit's depiction of her parents' dynamic is both painful and comforting to read.' - Marian Keyes


Award-winning author Kit de Waal grew up in a household of opposites and extremes. Her haphazard mother rarely cooked, forbade Christmas and birthdays, worked as a cleaner, nurse and childminder sometimes all at once and believed the world would end in 1975. Meanwhile, her father stuffed barrels full of goodies for his relatives in the Caribbean, cooked elaborate meals on a whim and splurged money they didn't have. Both of her parents were waiting for paradise. It never came.

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.

Join Kit in conversation about her memoir, Without Warning and Only Sometimes, the 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.

About Kit de Waal

Kit's debut novel, My Name Is Leon, was an international bestseller, shortlisted for the Costa First Novel Award, longlisted for the Desmond Elliott Prize and won the Kerry Group Irish Novel of the Year Award for 2017. In 2022 it was adapted for television by the BBC.


Her second novel, The Trick to Time, was longlisted for the Women's Prize and her young adult novel, Becoming Dinah, was shortlisted for the Carnegie CLIP Award 2020. A collection of short stories, Supporting Cast, was published in 2020. In 2019, she crowdfunded and edited an anthology of working-class memoir, Common People.


Kit founded her own TV production company, Portopia Productions, and the Big Book Weekend, a free digital literary festival in 2020 and was named the FutureBook Person of the Year 2019. Kit is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature and Professor and Writer in Residence at Leicester University.

More about Kit:

  • Website
  • Twitter
  • Facebook
  • Instagram

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