From the refreshing and intimate mind of the creator and star of I May Destroy You and Chewing Gum comes a passionate lecture about not fitting in, that will allow you to see moths in a whole new light. Misfits: A Personal Manifesto is a published version of the MacTaggart Lecture as part of Edinburgh’s TV Festival that Michaela Cole had to deliver in 2018, and as such holds many nuances but mostly opens up the room for honest, open and engaging provocations.
Coel’s Lecture moved a lot of people with her striking revelations about race, class and gender. But in the end, the person most impacted was Coel herself. Building on a speech that has the intent to waken much of the TV industry, Misfits opens the door for readers to witness her delicate and raw delivery through powerful allegory and anecdotes – from her East London upbringing to her discovery of theatre and love for storytelling.
With visceral insight and thinking, she openly tells of her reckoning with trauma and metamorphosis into a champion for herself, inclusivity and radical honesty, and in telling her journey invites us to reflect on our own. By embracing our differences, she says, we can transform our lives. An artist to her core, Coel is somewhat of a creative ambassador in her advocacy that we regard one another with care and respect – and transparency.
The book itself, however, delivers something more than the lecture itself. Revelations of her thoughts being asked to lecture and the brutal truth in terms of the nerves and concern of the delivery are all in there as much as the lecture itself, which reinforces these notions of transparency, openness and honesty that Coel fills the room with. An esteemed lecturer and writer, it’s fascinating to feel like we are in the room with her.
Misfits is a triumphant call for honesty, empathy and inclusion. This timely, necessary book is a rousing coming-to-power manifesto dedicated to anyone who has ever worried about fitting in, and will make you reconsider and re-evaluate some of life’s outlooks.
Misfits: A Personal Manifesto is out now, published by Ebury