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Mara Menzies' gift for stories floors me every time I see her perform. After each storytelling I've clung to the images and feelings and ideas she sparked, and of course as a bookseller, longed to revisit her words on the page. And now, finally, this award-winning Scottish Kenyan storyteller has gifted us an extraordinary book!
Ancient mythology and modern storytelling collide in Blood and Gold!
'A beguiling mixture of poetry, moving prose and magical realism' -Stephen McGinty
Starting with the real life experiences of two black men arriving in Edinburgh 140 years apart, the first welcomed and respected in 1846, the second murdered in The Grassmarket in 1989, Menzies takes a look at race and exploitation and the colonial past that Scotland must face, blending it with stories that are simultaneously universal and very personal to her.
Writing down the lore of her dual heritage for the first time in book form after performing Blood and Gold at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe in 2019 then touring in 27 countries, Menzies takes us on a fantastical journey through the eyes of a teenage girl growing up black in a white world. Opening a box of stories left by her dying mother, she takes us into a mythical, magical world, beautifully illustrated by Eri Griffin, where she is stalked by the shapeshifting Shadowman, who feeds on insecurity and fear.
Using symbolism and myth, she creates a safe space to confront issues and uses storytelling as a means of mediation. - Janet Christie, The Scotsman