A local author has been awarded an honorary degree from the University of Wolverhampton for her literary success.
Kit de Waal, who has won awards for her creative writing, has been awarded a Doctor of Arts in recognition of her achievements in the literary field.
Born to an Irish mother and Caribbean father, Kit was brought up among the Irish community of Birmingham in the 60s and 70s. She worked for 15 years in criminal and family law, was a magistrate for several years and sits on adoption panels.
She used to advise social services on the care of foster children and has written training manuals on adoption, foster care and judgecraft for members of the judiciary.
Kit’s debut novel, My Name is Leon, was an international bestseller, shortlisted for the Costa First Novel Award, longlisted for the Desmond Elliott Prize and won the Kerry Group Irish Novel of the Year Award for 2017.
After securing her publishing contract with Penguin, she used some of her advance to set up the Kit de Waal Scholarship for a marginalised writer to do a Creative Writing Master’s Degree at Birkbeck University.
Her short fiction has won numerous awards and her second novel, The Trick to Time, was published this year and longlisted for the Women’s Prize for Fiction.
Kit said: “I’m absolutely delighted to receive this award. It means so much to have an honorary fellowship from the University of Wolverhampton, from my local area, from such a well-respected institution doing wonderful things for people like me. I left school just before my sixteenth birthday and this award would never have crossed my mind.”
Honorary awards are presented by the University of Wolverhampton to people who have made a significant contribution to their field of expertise.
The University’s graduation ceremonies take place at the Grand Theatre, Wolverhampton, from Thursday 13th September to Friday 21st September 2018.
For information about courses to study at the University visit the website.