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Slavery and its legacy in the spotlight for Yvonne’s novel

AUTHOR: Yvonne Battle-Felton

QUESTIONS ABOUT slavery and how the ‘family’ existed after emancipation was the inspiration for the novel of one northern-based writer who is set to celebrate her publishing success with a launch at Waterstones.

Yvonne Battle-Felton’s Remembered is the story of Spring, an emancipated slave and mother, whose son, Edward, has been beaten by police in 1910 Philadelphia. Over the course of 24 hours, Spring is haunted by her dead sister and memories of the past that she had hoped to forget.

Although she has tried to forget the past, it won’t let her and neither will the present. It explores themes of motherhood, relationships, family, identity, community, and issues of racism, injustice, and brutality. Remembered is the story of Spring reconstructing the past in order to bring her dying son home.

American-born Yvonne, is a full-time lecturer in Creative Writing and Creative Industries at Sheffield Hallam University and also co-director of literary arts organisation, Community wise.

“I’m interested in the legacies of slavery; we are still living with that legacy,” she says. “I started my PhD with questions about how to repair the wounds from slavery and whose role that might be.

“I was curious about how families might have reconnected, or not, after the Emancipation and interested in motherhood from the perspective of what might a mother be willing or able to do, what choices might she be forced to make, in order to save her children.”

Yvonne is represented by the Elise Dillsworth agency and holds an MA in Writing from Johns Hopkins University and a Creative Writing PhD from Lancaster University. She will be reading from Remembered and celebrating with guests at Waterstones on King Street, Lancaster on February 1 from 7pm to 8pm.

In addition to her writing and the many accolades she has received, including winning the Northern Writers Award for fiction in 2017, Yvonne has been active in the community of Lancaster hosting the North West Literary Salon at Waterstones King Street on the first Friday of the month.

“The salons were opportunities for writers to read us engaging stories, answer questions, and share their publishing paths. I’m excited to be able to host my own
launch in the space where I’ve had so many good memories,” she said.

Along with her friend and fellow author, Naomi Kruger, who is also hosting the launch, Yvonne has established North West Literary Arts, an arts organisation that aims to increase diversity in publishing.

She says: “Some of the support we would like to offer is writer development but really, there are a lot of talented writers. There doesn’t seem to be a lot of information on how to get published. That could include networking opportunities, sharing information, and building confidence.”

Free tickets to attend the book launch, An Evening with Yvonne Battle-Felton: Lancaster Launch of Remembered, can be booked at

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