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Malorie Blackman Honoured in Exhibition at British Library

All at The Agency would like to pass on our wholehearted congratulations to our extraordinary client Malorie Blackman, whose incredible life and career is being honoured in a special exhibition at the British Library.

As reported by Ella Creamer for The Guardian,“the exhibition traces Blackman’s young adulthood: the Lewisham homeless shelter she lived in aged 13 is pictured; the comics she turned to as a “shield against the real world” are displayed. In the local library, which she says “saved my life”, she would read novels, including classic fiction – the likes of Jane Eyre. Later, at 22, she came across Walker’s The Color Purple – the first novel she had read that was written by a Black author and featured Black protagonists. “It had a profound effect on me,” says Blackman. “She was a Black woman author. They existed!”

The author hopes that the exhibition will “encourage, and entertain, and enlighten” visitors. “I never dreamt, when I first started writing, that I’d have an exhibition going on in the British Library,” she says. “It does feel totally surreal”.

Channel 4 interviewed Malorie as she viewed the British Library’s exhibition for the first time. C4 notes that “Blackman’s cultural impact extends beyond the literary scene, with British artists such as Stormzy calling her his ‘childhood hero’ and featuring her in his music videos – introducing the author to a whole new audience.” Malorie’s full interview with C4’s Ayshah Tull can be watched here.

Books for Keeps featured the exhibition in their article “Beyond the Secret Garden: The Power of Exhibitions”, noting how “Exploring The Power of Stories made us reflect on how stories and power have a dynamic relationship. […] Malorie Blackman is presented as both as an individual writer of exceptional talent and as a key figure in what can be viewed as a broader tradition of Black and racially minoritised writers working in Britain.” For the full Books for Keeps article click here.

“Malorie Blackman: The Power of Stories” runs until 25th February 2024 and is free to attend.