Barbara Sumner in conversation with her daughter Bonnie Sumner


Bonnie Sumner: You’ve been writing since you were young – you were once an award-winning columnist – and now you’re completing your masters at Victoria, but it’s taken until now to have your first book published. What does this journey feel like?

Barbara Sumner: It feels like I needed to write about adoption from the inside to find my voice. The story of adoption is told by adopters or the medical profession, but it’s very rarely told by adopted people because we are commoditised in such a way we have no voice. My adopter said to me ‘we love you as if you’re our own’ but their own child would be a very different person to me. To find your own identity it’s not just about papers, it’s also about recognising that you are completely different. You can’t fall back on family culture as a way of finding yourself because that isn’t your culture. So this book has freed me up to write in a different way. I used to write in quite a technical way, now I write more emotionally. I can finally own my emotional life.

Click here to read the full interview, courtesy of ReadingRoom.