Salena Godden: Bringing Death to Life

What if Death was not a faceless skeleton with a cloak and a scythe, but a working-class Black woman who shapeshifts and who has spent the whole of eternity doing her work unseen? Worn out and exhausted, Death wishes to unburden herself of the stories of loss she has helped to write and begins to record her memoirs with the help of a young poet called Wolf. This is Mrs Death Misses Death, the long-awaited debut novel by Salena Godden, one of Britain’s foremost poets, performers and activists. While death is an all-too real and familiar topic of conversation in the midst of a pandemic, this is a life-affirming tale that mixes prose and poetry and has already been optioned for film and TV. In this event, filmed live at the 2021 Edinburgh International Book Festival, Godden speaks to journalist Paula Akpan about her work.

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