My Name Is Why

Lemn Sissay

How does a government steal a child and then imprison him? How does it keep that a secret? This book is how.
My Name Is Why by Lemn Sissay (Paperback ISBN 9781786892362) book cover

Available as Paperback, eBook, Downloadable audio

2 July 2020

THE NUMBER ONE SUNDAY TIMES BESTSELLER. A memoir with a message – about growing up in care and finding hope, determination and creativity – from British poet and national treasure Lemn Sissay


How does a government steal a child and then imprison him?
How does it keep it a secret?
This story is how.

“A lyrical, painful and yet hope-filled memoir … Shattering, light-searching”

See more reviews

“Searing … Unputdownable … My Name Is Why is authentic and beautiful, a potential game-changer in public attitudes to children raised in care. It’s about bureaucratic cruelty and what happens when love is absent. Don’t miss it”
the Times

“An extraordinary story”
sunday Times

“The most amazing thing about this book is that it’s not made up. This actually happened. It is an incredible story”
Benjamin Zephaniah

“I have never read a memoir like it. A blistering account of a young life in the hands of neglectful authorities. It’s a quest for understanding, for home, for answers. Grips like a thriller. Astounding”
Matt Haig

Lemn Sissay

Lemn Sissay is a BAFTA-nominated, award-winning writer and broadcaster. He has authored collections of poetry and plays. His Landmark poems are visible in London, Manchester, Huddersfield and Addis Ababa. He has been made an Honorary Doctor by the universities of Manchester, Kent, Huddersfield and Brunel. Sissay was awarded an MBE for services to literature and in 2019 he was awarded the PEN Pinter Prize. He is Chancellor of the University of Manchester. He is British and Ethiopian.

@lemnsissay |