Family value on education inspired a love of books

I have loved books and reading from a very young age and was always surrounded by literature at home.  I had aunts who were both teachers in the Caribbean and my parents always stressed the importance of education and learning when I was growing up. 

I grew up on a diet of Enid Blyton when at school and Jackie Collins when a little older.  Not surprisingly, English Literature was a favourite subject of mine at school although I never did really get to grips with Shakespeare!

I guess I became introduced to the world of Black literature when working with Wandsworth's Multicultural Library and Information Service (MLIS) with the wonderful Gloria Lock from Sierra Leone.  It got me in touch the global "Black" family and increased my awareness of other experiences and other communities from the diaspora.  We are a diverse people.

As I became an adult, I would often think of writing for a living but life stepped in! I still do entertain the thought and look forward to attending the New Authors Club events.  I have had book reviews published on People With Voices and when a VSO volunteer, my experience working in St Lucia in the 1990s was recounted in Orbit.

I particularly enjoy the novels of Bebe Moore Campbell (sadly deceased),  early Alice Walker, J California Cooper, Olive Senior and CLR James (not the Cricket writing). My most recent recommended read is Marlon James's The Book of the Night Women. I also like autobiographies if I am not reading fiction. 

I am planning to write my first novel and look forward to meeting similar writing and reading enthusiasts!



Deborah Bell

About Deborah Bell

Deborah currently works with her local adult education college, drawing on her MEd dissertation from Sheffield University explored the role of participatory approaches to literacy and the empowerment of women in developing countries. She lives in South London and is currently training to be a complimentary therapist.

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