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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'.

‘I am never without a book. It would be tortuous for me to be on a journey, short or long, without something to read.’
‘Alice Walker’s generosity in celebrating what had come before, what had ignited her, opened up a world for readers.’