112 | Tea and Tattle with Yvonne Battle-Felton
Listen to Episode 112: Tea & Tattle with Yvonne Battle-Felton
Yvonne was born in Pennsylvania, but moved to the UK when she started her PhD in creative writing at Lancaster University, where she is now an associate lecturer. Long fascinated by stories, Yvonne created an award-winning, on-campus radio show, The Writing Life, to interview writers about how they made a living with their words. Yvonne also launched Stories at the Storey, a monthly true-story open mic night that Yvonne hosts with her friend and fellow writer, Naomi Krüger.
Yvonne’s first novel, Remembered, is a haunting story of hope, identity, motherhood and the power of storytelling. It examines the brutal history of slavery and its enduring legacy through the eyes of its main protagonist, an emancipated slave named Spring.
The story begins in Philadelphia in 1910, when Spring sits beside the hospital bed of her son, Edward, who was seriously injured after reportedly driving a streetcar into a department store that refuses black customers, causing riots to erupt as racial tensions reach boiling point. In an effort to recall Edward home, Spring breaks her long-held silence and tells him the story of her birth, her years as a slave on a southern plantation, the cost of her eventual freedom and the story of her sister, Tempe, whose fiery presence haunts Spring still.
Yvonne received a Northern Writers’ Award for Remembered in 2017, and it was longlisted for the Women’s Prize for Fiction 2019.
I so enjoyed talking to Yvonne about her incredible novel, and her fantastic sense of humour, as well as her deep perception and love for writing, made this interview a real joy for me.
Remembered by Yvonne Battle-Felton.
May by Naomi Krüger.
Manchester Happened by Jennifer Nansubuga Makumbi.
Slate International, founded by Dawn Walton.
Ladybird Tales of Super Heroes by Yvonne Battle-Felton (will be published by Penguin, September 2019).
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