Eight Weeks

Eight Weeks

Looking Back, Moving Forwards, Defying the Odds


Brought to you by Penguin.

Lola Young has been an actress, an academic, an activist and a crossbench peer. But from the age of eight weeks to eighteen years, she was moved between countless foster care placements and children's homes. It would take many decades before she was able to make sense of her childhood.

In her poignant and inspiring memoir, she pieces together her own remarkable life story, using fragments of memory, her care records, and her imagination where parts of her story are missing. As she revisits her childhood in north London, she also provides glimpses into her life as a peer, activist, and campaigner - and tells the story of her attempts to reconnect with her roots in later adulthood.

Baroness Young's story is a vital part of contemporary Black British history, but is also a moving account of being a child in care, a black child in a white family, and the sense of disconnection that comes from living between cultures.

© Baroness Lola Young 2024 (P) Penguin Audio 2024


  • I love Eight Weeks ... Baroness Lola Young reveals how a child is constantly wronged by a system which was supposed to help ... In Eight Weeks Lola befriends her childhood self. She holds her by the hand as they enter the storm of a system raging around her. I am in awe of the woman who grew from the child in this book ... The pure character necessary to grow through this dark entangled forest of childhood is the stuff of legends. Bravissimo Lola
    Lemn Sissay, author of My Name is Why

About the author

Baroness Lola Young

Baroness Lola Young of Hornsey became one of the first Black Women members of the House of Lords in 2004. Raised in foster care in north London, she studied at the New College of Speech and Drama, then worked as an actress, before becoming Professor of Cultural Studies at Middlesex University. Later, she worked in arts administration before receiving an OBE in 2001 and becoming an independent crossbench member of the House of Lords. She is active in campaigns on modern slavery and ethical fashion. In 2017 she was on the Man Booker Prize judging panel, and she is also Chancellor of the University of Nottingham.
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