Kerry Young reminds me of a really charming amalgamation of my Filipino Great Aunt Lilia and my Jamaican Grandfather George. If I were forced to drink a shot for every time Kerry stood from her chair to dramatize her responses I’d be looking at complete liver failure.
When we first went into the lecture room we were greeted by rows of what I might call a more “mature" audience - we felt like children tagging along to a grown-ups' tea party. Nevertheless the atmosphere was extremely relaxed and respectful; it was refreshing to learn about the history of Jamaica and Kerry Young herself.
Kerry Young took seven years to finish her novel Pao and, from what she said, I feel that it is a project she needed to complete to solidify her identity as a Chinese-Jamaican woman. I asked Kerry if she ever thought of giving up during those seven years. She said she had been tempted but that the novel was a gift for her father - and what a special gift it was. During the discussion it was glaringly obvious that Kerry is passionate about her writing. It was truly inspiring to listen to her tonight.
This was easily my favourite event of Cultural eXchanges so far.