‘Look how far Dorothy had to travel before she truly understood and appreciated that there really is no place like home.’ – Lemn Sissay, The Guardian, January 2016

Many of our most beloved tales are populated by central characters who have been fostered, adopted, placed in children’s homes or cruelly orphaned. Lemn Sissay’s 2014 Foundling Museum commission, ‘Superman Was A Foundling’, lists some of them: Luke Skywalker, Batman, Frodo Baggins, Cinderella, Spider-Man, Jane Eyre, David Copperfield … the roll call goes on.

What makes the rootless status of people like Harry Potter or Lyra Bellacqua so fascinating to readers and writers?

Our literary panellists include Tahmima Anam, Hilary Robinson, and Lemn Sissay.

About The Authors

Tahmima Anam

Tahmima Anam is an anthropologist and novelist. Her debut novel, ‘A Golden Age’, was the winner of the Commonwealth Writers Prize for Best First Book in 2008. In 2013 she was named one of Granta’s Best of Young British Novelists. Her writing has appeared in the Financial Times, The Guardian and The Independent, and she is a judge for the 2016 Man Booker International Prize.

Lemn Sissay

Lemn Sissay is a poet, playwright and has been awarded an MBE for services to literature. In 2018 he was made Poet Laureate of Canterbury. He has read poetry everywhere, from the shores of Sri Lanka to Wigan Library and many places between.

Hilary Robinson

Hilary Robinson is the author of over 40 children’s books including the top selling Mixed Up Fairy Tales and The Copper Tree. She is also a broadcaster and freelance BBC radio producer. Hilary was born in Devon and brought up in Nigeria and England.