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Kae Tempest: ‘I used to read David Icke. Imagine that’

Kae Tempest: ‘I used to read David Icke. Imagine that’

One of my earliest memories of reading —

When I was approximately seven years old, I was riding the underground train with my siblings. I was engrossed in reading The Queen and I by Sue Townsend, which tells the story of the royal family living in a public housing development. We needed to transfer trains, but I was so captivated by the book that I didn’t even notice when my siblings started calling out to me from the train platform. It wasn’t until the doors closed that I realized I was continuing on without them.

My favourite book growing up

I revisited Ursula K Le Guin’s Earthsea trilogy recently in order to gift a copy to my niece. I was reminded of how many of my beliefs and values were shaped by Ursula when I was just eight years old.

The book that had a profound impact on me during my teenage years.

Gabriel García Márquez’s novel, One Hundred Years of Solitude, captivated me like nothing else I had read before. I was around 13 years old at the time. Shortly after, I also received Wu Cheng’en’s Monkey, which I cherished so much that I carried it around with me until it eventually fell apart. Both books may have influenced me in some way, but most importantly, they sparked a sense of excitement and courage within me.

The author who altered my perspective

Upon my initial encounter with James Joyce, I felt as though I had found a missing figure to guide me. This occurred during my late teenage years and his work Ulysses enlightened me in every way. Thanks to Joyce, my fascination with Greek mythology flourished and ultimately led to the creation of my own work, Brand New Ancients. His impact on me was profound; he challenged, provoked, and even frustrated me, but also accompanied me in a way that only the greatest influences can.

The book that sparked my passion for writing
The power of music inspired me to pursue writing. Influential rappers from the 90s and 00s, traditional country and folk, and the profound political and religious messages in late 70s and early 80s reggae solidified my passion. However, it was significant literary works like William Faulkner’s “Light in August,” Knut Hamsun’s “Hunger,” Toni Morrison’s “Song of Solomon,” and William Blake’s “The Marriage of Heaven and Hell” that truly moved and motivated me to keep writing. They shattered me and ultimately made me even more determined to continue on my path.

The book I returned to.
The Bible. Hey, it’s a good story.

I read the book again.

Another Country by James Baldwin and The Book of Daniel by EL Doctorow.

The book I could never read again
I used to peruse books written by David Icke before the advent of the internet. It’s hard to believe. However, I no longer have the endurance for it now.

“Later in life, I came across this book.”

I was introduced to Stone Butch Blues a decade ago. As soon as I began reading it, I felt a strong impact that stayed with me. Before that, I had been living a lifeless existence. This book helped me come to terms with my identity and showed that I didn’t have to feel ashamed of who I was. It was a powerful reminder of love and gave me a renewed sense of life. I will forever be grateful to Leslie Feinberg for loving us unconditionally. The thought of how many lives this book has positively influenced brings me to tears.

“Bypass the promotion for the newsletter.”

is “The Catcher in the Rye”

The title of the book I am currently reading is “The Catcher in the Rye.”

I read multiple books simultaneously, including Isabel Wilkerson’s “Caste,” John Steinbeck’s “The Grapes of Wrath,” Marlon James’ “A Brief History of Seven Killings,” Sean Bonney’s “Letters Against the Firmament,” and Patrick Hamilton’s “Twenty Thousand Streets Under the Sky.” I find it beneficial to read multiple books at once, as it allows for a mix of perspectives and ideas.

My comfort read
Hangover Square by Patrick Hamilton.

Source: theguardian.com