Kit de Waal: Did You Hear Mammy Died?

Kit de Waal’s debut novel, My Name is Leon, published in 2016, was shortlisted for the Costa Book Awards. After securing the publishing deal with Penguin, De Waal used some of her advance to set up the Kit de Waal Creative Writing Scholarship to help improve working-class representation in the arts. 

My book of the month is Did You Hear Mammy Died?  It’s written by the journalist Seamus O’Reilly about the death of his mother when he was 5 and unaware of its significance.  He was one of 11 children and the care of this massive troupe fell to his grieving father and the older of the children.  It’s heartbreaking and wondrous but most shocking of all, is that the book is very, very funny.  Thoroughly recommend it if you want to laugh at the sheer power of sibling and paternal love and the coming together of good people to help this family thrive.

Lemn Sissay chose My Name is Leon as his Book of the Month.

Thank you Kit for choosing our Book of the Month!

Our BOTMs are sent to our projects with a bookplate sharing why it was chosen. You can order your copy of Did You Hear Mammy Died? and our previous BOTMs from our affiliate list on



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To see our previous Books of the Month, click here. 

Photo credit: Paul Crowther


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