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Jill Dawson discusses the writers – mostly American, many black – that nourished her through a series of difficult youthful circumstances, offering her 'a shape to discover myself in'.

‘Mary Wollstonecraft arrived shortly before Louis XI was executed in 1792, and her reportage during the Revolution still stands the test of time.’
Rebecca proved that literary merit is not the antithesis of a good yarn; it is possible, perhaps preferable, to do both.’