Articles about Books

 Women talk about making noise

The music women make when left to their own devices is often sidelined. Julia Downes, editor of 2012's Women Make Noise, previews an upcoming discussion in Sheffield on 16 October about DIY feminist efforts to counter this

Julia Downes // 13 October 2014

Categories: Books, Events, Music, Reviews

 Lean in? Be bossy? No: get naked

Sophie Mayer on Sally Potter's new book Naked Cinema, exploring the filmmaker's refreshing take on leadership

Sophie Mayer // 28 September 2014

Categories: Books

 All at sea

Sophie Mayer is swept away by Drift, Caroline Bergvall's latest poetry collection

Sophie Mayer // 26 August 2014

Categories: Books, Spoken Word

 Under and through the celluloid ceiling

Sophie Mayer finds recent collection of essays on women's cinema a mixed bag but a powerful tool nevertheless

Sophie Mayer // 3 July 2014

Categories: Books, Reviews

 Unleashing the chick-lit tiger

Aniqah Choudhri reviews a very different kind of novel targeted at young women - one inspired by Angela Carter and horror films

Aniqah Choudhri // 16 February 2014

Categories: Books

 Short is beautiful

In our series rounding up our reviewers' favourites of 2013, Hayley Ellis Jones focuses on the best short fiction she's read this year

Hayley Ellis Jones // 20 January 2014

Categories: Books

 Fierce or formulaic?

As part of our series previewing our reviewers' favourites of 2013, Holly Millar reviews The End Of The Wasp Season, by Denise Mina, and concludes that this is a very special type of 'lady copper'

Holly Millar // 12 January 2014

Categories: Books

 Alternate histories and alien textures

Jolene Tan rounds up the best science fiction and fantasy she has read in 2013 - from novels to short stories

Jolene Tan // 15 December 2013

Categories: Books

 A subtle story of sadism

Katherine Williams is intrigued by The Tattooist by Louise Black, a sinister insight into a controlling, cruel obsessive

Katherine Williams // 8 December 2013

Categories: Books, Reviews

 Fantastical stories and feminist stereotypes

Laura Buttrick steps into a world of feminist fantasy fiction - and looks at the cliches that just won't disappear

Laura Buttrick // 30 November 2013

Categories: Books, Reviews

 The novel that narrates itself

Louise Crichton reviews AL Kennedy's compelling story about the mediums who trade on the hope of contacting the hereafter, The Blue Book, in which the book itself is a character

Louise Crichton // 8 November 2013

Categories: Books

 Tori and the women who love her: feminism in action?

The iconic Tori Amos and her devoted followers do not fit the stereotypical view of women's place in music. But what about the women who just crave a good tune? Louise Allan takes a critical look at US scholar Adrienne Trier-Bienieck's recent book about Amos fans and argues that there are a variety of female music lovers out there doing their own thing who cannot all be categorised by "women's issues"

Louise Allan // 21 October 2013

Categories: Books, Music, Reviews

 Past shirts and skin

My Education by Susan Choi addresses love and lust in the life of a graduate student. Katherine Wootton finds it gripping

Katherine Wootton // 10 August 2013

Categories: Books, Reviews

 To turn the body: a look at Xiaolu Guo

M. Lý-Eliot looks at the work of this exciting young novelist and her exploration of the themes of isolation, education and revolution

M. Lý-Eliot // 2 August 2013

Categories: Books, Reviews

 A compassionate brute

Dirty Work by Gabriel Weston investigates the difficult life of an abortion provider. Katherine Williams finds it complex and compelling

Katherine Williams // 25 July 2013

Categories: Books, Reviews

 "Books are magic": an interview with Ruth Ozeki

Claire Hazelton speaks to novelist Ruth Ozeki about writing, family, religion and more

Claire Hazelton // 24 July 2013

Categories: Books

 Lean in to transform the world of work

Stéphanie Thomson argues that, despite its flaws, Sheryl Sandberg's Lean In is an interesting guide to getting on in business that, above all, reignites debate

Stéphanie Thomson // 11 July 2013

Categories: Books

 Good stuff - The Other Half of the Sky

Jolene Tan finds much of interest in this science fiction collection focused on "heroes who happen to be women"

Jolene Tan // 29 May 2013

Categories: Books

 Mary Beard critiques the classics

Jess McCabe looks into Mary Beard's critique of biases in the classics

Jess McCabe // 28 May 2013

Categories: Books

 Wrecked: a last-ditch prayer

Charlotte Roche's second novel, about psychological collapse, leaves Laura Way in two minds

Laura Way // 28 May 2013

Categories: Books

 Everlasting divas

'Rock On': Women, Ageing and Popular Music is an essay collection concerned with developing debates around ageing, both in society and within the music world. Laura Way finds it an interesting (if at times heavy) read that shines a much welcome light on a neglected area of research

Laura Way // 28 April 2013

Categories: Books, Music, Reviews

 A quiet scream - Jean Rhys' Quartet

Zoe Apostolides discusses Rhys' unsettling first novel, exploring poverty and dependence

Zoe Apostolides // 9 April 2013

Categories: Books

 "But I'm having fun. I like it."

MarinaS argues reading In Her Own Words is more than a debate of for or against sex work. She argues that we should read it because it is a captivating story of an interesting person.

MarinaS // 22 March 2013

Categories: Books, Reviews

 Double Bind

Double Bind asks important questions of the cross sections of certain Muslim networks and women's rights argues Jolene Tan

Jolene Tan // 15 March 2013

Categories: Books, Reviews

 A cut above the rest

Although wishing at times for a more personal touch, Hayley Foster da Silva is impressed by the breadth of She Bop, the recently revised and updated third edition of Lucy O'Brien's history of women and the music industry, and is pleased to come away from the book with lots of new information

Hayley Foster da Silva // 31 January 2013

Categories: Books, Music, Reviews

 Bound to reality

Bound to You follows Nichi Hodgson's journey to become a professional dominatrix, re-writing 50 Shades of Grey with a dose of reality and gender politics, says Josephine Tsui

Josephine Tsui // 9 December 2012

Categories: Books

 Life in gasps - Swimming Home

Deborah Levy's Booker-shortlisted novel haunts Zoe Apostolides for months

Zoe Apostolides // 19 November 2012

Categories: Books

 Teen fiction: a revolution?

The Carbon Diaries is an unusual Young Adult series with a feminist and revolutionary flavour. Ananya Wilson-Bhattacharya contrasts it favourably with The Hunger Games

Ananya Wilson-Bhattacharya // 16 November 2012

Categories: Books

 Making a noise about women's musical history

Hayley Foster da Silva thought she knew a lot about women musicians, but when she read Women Make Noise, a new book edited by Julia Downes, she was pleased to discover that there was still a lot to learn and plenty of all-female musical talent to uncover

Hayley Foster da Silva // 11 November 2012

Categories: Books, Music, Reviews

 Bending space-time, gender and minds

Greg Egan's Orthogonal series unites complex physics with alien biology - with surprising feminist resonance for Jolene Tan

Jolene Tan // 25 October 2012

Categories: Books

 Back on home turf: Zadie Smith's NW

Zadie Smith returns to North West London in her latest novel. It's not perfect, but Eli Davies is charmed

Eli Davies // 23 October 2012

Categories: Books

 'Time to become angry again': Poems for Pussy Riot

This collection of poems and artwork joins a global chorus of support for Pussy Riot. Fran Allfrey is invigorated

Fran Allfrey // 18 October 2012

Categories: Books

 The Personal is Political

What You Really Really Want and Outdated: Why Dating Is Ruining Your Love Life are anti-self-help self-help guides. They challenge the clichéd, patronising and, often, offensive advice which is usually trotted out in this genre. Katherine Wootton reviews their alternative advice, discovering it is still possible to be a feminist while navigating the minefields of dating and sex

Katherine Wootton // 4 October 2012

Categories: Books, Reviews

 The Song of Achilles

Despite enjoying the novel, Alexandra Roumbas Goldstein has a feminist bone to pick with this year's winner of the Orange Prize for Fiction

Alexandra Roumbas Goldstein // 2 September 2012

Categories: Books, Reviews

 Why Be Happy When You Could Be Normal?

Published 26 years later, Why Be Happy When You Could Be Normal reveals the painful truth behind the fabrications Jeanette Winterson used as protection in her highly acclaimed first novel, Oranges Are Not the Only Fruit. Laura Brightwell considers the importance of Winterson's revelations, particularly as a building-block to mental health

Laura Brightwell // 30 July 2012

Categories: Books, Reviews

 The Light Bulb Moment

Bristol based writer Sian Norris asked people to share the light bulb moment they realised they were a feminist: Abigail Rutherford reviews the stories told as a result, examining the diverse experiences and beliefs which lead people to consider themselves feminists

Abigail Rutherford // 5 June 2012

Categories: Books, Reviews

 The Sex Myth: Why Everything We're Told is Wrong

Brooke Magnanti wants to expose the truths behind the sex myths which provoke outraged newspaper headlines and panicked public policy. Lindsey Sheehan considers Magnanti's opinions on all things controversial, from lap-dancing to online pornography

Lindsey M Sheehan // 5 May 2012

Categories: Books, Reviews

 Iron Butterflies

Carrie Spencer reviews Birute Regine's guide to modern leadership by becoming an Iron Butterfly, which, Regine says, will help women "transform themselves and the world"

Carrie Spencer // 29 April 2012

Categories: Books, Reviews

 The Hunger Games: book trilogy

The Hunger Games - the latest fad in the teen fiction market or an incisive examination of our society? Jessica Blunden finds that Suzanne Collins' world offers more than easy escapism

Jessica Blunden // 17 April 2012

Categories: Books, Reviews

 The Reinvention of Love

Sian Norris finds herself approving of the subversion of traditional sexual roles in the portrayal of Charles Saint-Beuve - "a man like no other" - in Helen Humphrey's novel The Reinvention of Love

Sian Norris // 8 April 2012

Categories: Books, Reviews

 The First Time

Kate Monro set out to ask as wide a selection of people as possible - men and women, old and young, gay, straight, Christian and Muslim - about their personal experiences of virginity. Through her findings, Katherine Dunseath discovered that the definition of virginity, and virginity loss, isn't as straightforward as she'd previously thought

Katherine Dunseath // 9 March 2012

Categories: Books, Reviews

 Sylvia's Lovers - Elizabeth Gaskell's anti-romantic novel

LucindaE rereads Elizabeth Gaskell's Sylvia's Lovers not as a sentimental love story, but rather, a merciless tale of flawed love and thwarted ambition

LucindaE // 27 February 2012

Categories: Books, Reviews

 Think: Straight Talk for Women to Stay Smart in a Dumbed-Down World

In her first book, Lisa Bloom urges women to disengage their minds from gossip and celebrity trivia and focus on more consequential topics instead. Leonie Taylor reviews this social-critique-cum-recipe-book, which appeals for women to spend more time considering sex trafficking and good literature and less time worrying about getting fat

Leonie Taylor // 15 February 2012

Categories: Books, Reviews

 Hey, Shorty!: A Guide to Combating Sexual Harassment and Violence in Schools and on the Streets

Girls for Gender Equity, a not-for-profit organisation based in New York City, work to empower youth, fight sexual harassment and address gender violence. Sara Clarke reviews their guide for young people - and those working with them - on exactly what is sexual harassment, and what needs to be done about it

Sara Clarke // 27 December 2011

Categories: Books, Reviews

 Penny Red: Notes from the New Age of Dissent

Laurie Penny's new book brings together a diverse collection of her writing from online content to newspaper columns. Sarah Graham reviews the works of one of the most prominent voices of the new left as she provides analysis, interviews and first-hand accounts of everything from the UK student protests to vajazzling

Sarah Graham // 21 November 2011

Categories: Books, Reviews

 The 21st Century Motherhood Movement

Andrea O'Reilly argues that activist mothers are creating an autonomous and distinct social movement. Adele Jones reviews this first anthology of its kind, which profiles organisations who are all fighting for a shift in the value given to the roles and responsibilities of motherhood

Adele Jones // 14 November 2011

Categories: Books, Reviews

 In Other Worlds

Katherine Wootton reviews Margaret Atwood's new work of non-fiction which explores the importance and vast potential of science fiction - a much ridiculed and underestimated genre - in the literary canon, and delves into the significance it holds for Atwood as both a reader and writer

Katherine Wootton // 27 October 2011

Categories: Books, Reviews

 Falling for Me

Anna David devoted a year of her life to following the advice set down in a classic book from the 1960s, but Diane Shipley questions the self-empowerment message in a book bogged down with regressive ideas and strict gender-roles

Diane Shipley // 13 October 2011

Categories: Books, Reviews

 The Future of Feminism

Sylvia Walby's book provides a comprehensive rebuttal of the notion that feminism is dead. Rachel Benson reviews this definitive account of feminism's present and future forms, and the progression of feminism into the mainstream

Rachel Benson // 7 October 2011

Categories: Books, Reviews

 The Painted Lady

Sian Norris dissects the problems behind mistress narratives in historial fiction, and explains why Maeve Haran's The Painted Lady doesn't fall into the typical traps

Sian Norris // 13 September 2011

Categories: Books

 Choices Women Make: Agency in Domestic Violence, Assisted Reproduction, and Sex Work

Carisa R. Showden argues in her latest book that victim and agent are not mutually exclusive categories. Anna Edman considers her belief that survivors of domestic violence, women using assisted reproduction and women in prostitution are still able to assess their situation and wrest some control

Anna Edman // 6 September 2011

Categories: Books, Reviews


Richard Ganly reviews a book which challenges the notion that a monogamous, heterosexual marriage is truly superior to all others

Richard Ganly // 21 August 2011

Categories: Books, Reviews

 Feminist Media History: Suffrage, Periodicals and the Public Sphere

Red Chidgey reviews a book focusing on the feminist periodicals which emerged from the campaign for women's right to vote, highlighting the central role of grassroots publications to engage the wider public

Red Chidgey // 27 July 2011

Categories: Books, Reviews

 How To Be a Woman

Ava Jackson reviews Caitlin Moran's book of the moment; a laugh-out-loud, light-hearted look at the day-to-day obstacles which await women in a modern world, from plastic surgery to tiny knickers

Ava Jackson // 13 July 2011

Categories: Books, Reviews

 The Wilder Life

Wendy McClure immerses herself in the world of her beloved childhood hero Laura Ingalls Wilder. Diane Shipley follows this journey as McClure separates fact from fiction and is forced to examine why her childhood obsession has only deepened

Diane Shipley // 2 July 2011

Categories: Books, Reviews

 Where Has My Little Girl Gone?

Alexandra Roumbas Goldstein questions a book which places the responsibility of counteracting the dangers of sexual imagery firmly on the shoulders of young girls and women

Alexandra Roumbas Goldstein // 9 June 2011

Categories: Books

 Granta 115: The F Word

Despite being The F-Word's namesake, Iman Qureshi argues that Granta 115: The F Word misses the mark

Iman Qureshi // 31 May 2011

Categories: Books, Reviews

 Under an Emerald Sky

Lukela Aimmado explains why Under an Emerald Sky, a novel by black, queer, feminist activist Olukemi Amala is essential reading for all

Lukela Aimmado // 26 May 2011

Categories: Books, Reviews

 Reading Women: How the Great Books of Feminism Changed my Life

Stephanie Staal re-examines some of the central texts of her undergraduate feminist classes, now critiquing them from her position as a wife and mother. LonerGrrrl argues that we should all consider how our relationship to feminism may change over time

LonerGrrrl // 24 May 2011

Categories: Books


Katherine Wootton examines how Elizabeth Gaskell's daring novel Ruth, a new edition of which is published this month, challenges our prejudices and suggests how it is still relevent today

Katherine Wootton // 19 May 2011

Categories: Books, Reviews

 Is Breast Best?

Alexandra Roumbas Goldstein reviews a book which challenges both the science behind the assertions and the value of breastfeeding campaigns in a "neoliberal risk culture"

Alexandra Roumbas Goldstein // 18 May 2011

Categories: Books

 Dreamers of a New Day: Women Who Invented the 20th Century

As the 20th century dawned, visionary women from all backgrounds were imagining new worlds. Kirsty Doole reviews Sheila Rowbotham's history of these movements, groups and individuals

Kirsty Doole // 17 February 2011

Categories: Books

 One Dimensional Woman

Feminism risks becoming a meaningless word, co-opted by capitalism and right-wing politicians such as Sarah Palin, according to Nina Power's latest book. Sian Norris has more

Sian Norris // 16 February 2011

Categories: Books

 Rose: Love in Violent Times

Inga Muscio's latest book blends anecdotes, history and theory to examine where violence originates from and how to find space for love in a vicious world. The result is in turns naïve, stirring and provocative, says Katherine Wootton

Katherine Wootton // 13 February 2011

Categories: Books

 Gender Outlaws: The Next Generation

Social pressures impose binary gender on us all, but resistance is possible: Amelia Bayes reviews the follow-on anthology to a key text in queer theory

Amelia Bayes // 29 January 2011

Categories: Books

 How to Become a Scandal: Adventures in Bad Behavior

Laura Kipnis' "theory of scandal" starts an interesting conversation, says Katherine Wootton, but ignores the impact on victims to concentrate on gossip and society's response

Katherine Wootton // 11 January 2011

Categories: Books

 Woman's Work: Short Stories

Hayley Foster da Silva reviews this wide-ranging collection of short stories by women

Hayley Foster da Silva // 16 December 2010

Categories: Books

 Home Economics: Vintage Advice and Practical Science for the 21st Century Household

This is a collection of excerpts from the text books used to teach early 20th century schoolgirls home economics. The material has been uncritically repackaged and marketed to 21st century women, says Victoria Dutchman-Smith

Victoria Dutchman-Smith // 2 December 2010

Categories: Books

 Blue is for boys?

Cordelia Fine unpicks the science (and pseudoscience) of sex difference in her latest book. Jessica Smith found the result a revelation

Jessica Smith // 9 November 2010

Categories: Books


Did you have a 'click' moment, a sudden realisation that "I am a feminist"? Or was it more gradual? Sian Norris reviews an anthology of stories about coming into a feminist identity

Sian Norris // 17 October 2010

Categories: Books

 Adventures in Kate Bush and Theory

Deborah Withers' book is not a biography of Kate Bush. Instead, says Sian Norris, it is a treasure map to the theories underpinning the cultural icon's work

Sian Norris // 10 October 2010

Categories: Books

 Beyond the Circle

Jane Fae Ozimek's book takes a refreshing and inspiring look at questions of taboo, sex and the law - but does not quite have the answers, argues Victoria Dutchman-Smith

Victoria Dutchman-Smith // 28 September 2010

Categories: Books

 Men at the centre of the story

Barbara Kingsolver has finally won the Orange Prize. Sarah Bryne wonders, is it a coincidence that she has been recognised for The Lacuna, her first novel with a male protagonist?

Sarah Byrne // 15 August 2010

Categories: Books

 Girl With a One Track Mind: Exposed

Sex blogger Abby Lee saw her anonymity stripped away by the media. Her latest book explores the personal consequences in a society that has yet to come to terms with female sexual desire, says Abby O'Reilly

Abby O'Reilly // 9 August 2010

Categories: Books

 In the Loop

This collection of essays goes well beyond glossy photos and patterns, weaving together a serious assessment of knitting, its role in activism, art and more, says Kaite Welsh

Kaite Welsh // 8 August 2010

Categories: Books


Stella Duffy's first historical novel tells the story of Theodora's rise from the stage to co-ruler of Constantinople, says Bidisha, without glossing over her restricted agency

Bidisha // 30 July 2010

Categories: Books

 Our Tragic Universe

Scarlett Thomas' latest novel delves into the nature of narrative, says Katherine Wootton

Katherine Wootton // 24 July 2010

Categories: Books

 Never Kiss a Man in a Canoe

Advice dished out by agony aunts and uncles from the 1850s to 1960s demonstrates how much has changed - and how much has stayed the same, argues Sian Norris

Sian Norris // 24 July 2010

Categories: Books

 My Animal Life

Novelist Maggie Gee deals with the familiar subject-matter of family life and struggling artist, but Bidisha finds the results far from ordinary

Bidisha // 27 June 2010

Categories: Books

 One book - three reviews

Annika Spalding, Jamillah Knowles and LonerGrrrl offer three different and independent takes on Reclaiming the F Word: The New Feminist Movement by Catherine Redfern, founder of our site, and Kristin Aune

Various Authors // 4 June 2010

Categories: Books

 Honour and the Sword

A L Berridge's swashbuckler is a challenge to this male-dominated branch of historical fiction, says Sian Norris

Sian Norris // 22 May 2010

Categories: Books

 Muslim Women Reformers: Inspiring Voices Against Oppression

Who are the Muslim reformers striving for women's liberation? Jillian Krane reviews a book which seeks to amplify the voices of some of these women and men

Jillian Krane // 4 May 2010

Categories: Books

 Daughters of Earth: Feminist Science Fiction in the Twentieth Century

Jess McCabe reviews Justine Larbalestier's collection of 11 stories and accessible essays, which provide an engaging introduction to feminist scifi

Jess McCabe // 17 March 2010

Categories: Books

 The Equality Illusion

Do you think feminism's job is done? Kat Banyard's book will remove your rose-tinted glasses, says Jess McCabe

Jess McCabe // 27 February 2010

Categories: Books

 Lighting a fire

Christiane Inmann's history of women's reading and writing is a delicious read, says Jessica Gjergji

Jessica Gjergji // 22 February 2010

Categories: Books

 Hello Kitty Must Die

The protagonist of Angela S. Choi's comic debut novel channels the anger of every woman who has been belittled or demeaned, says Kaite Welsh

Kaite Welsh // 21 February 2010

Categories: Books

 The Fossil Hunter

Kaite Welsh reviews a fictionalised biography of early paleontologist Mary Anning

Kaite Welsh // 4 February 2010

Categories: Books

 Girldrive: Criss-Crossing America, Redefining Feminism

Nona Willis Aronowitz and Emma Bee Bernstein's book reclaims the road trip and tells a story about what young women across the US think about feminism and the issues facing them as women, says LonerGrrrl

LonerGrrrl // 4 February 2010

Categories: Books

 Living Dolls: The Return of Sexism

Natasha Walter's latest book reflects her change of heart since The New Feminism, but Melanie Newman argues the result is a mixed bag

Melanie Newman // 3 February 2010

Categories: Books

 The Wisdom of Whores

Elizabeth Pisani's book breaks down the facts on HIV/AIDS, but loses points for offensive language and playing too cool to care, says Charlotte Cooper

Charlotte Cooper // 7 December 2009

Categories: Books

 Daphne Du Maurier's feminist fairy tales

Sian Norris reconsiders Daphne du Maurier's novels

Sian Norris // 5 December 2009

Categories: Books

 Picking Bones from Ash

Christina McDermott reviews Marie Mutsuki Mockett's deft debut novel, which follows two sequential mother-daughter stories

Christina McDermott // 5 October 2009

Categories: Books

 The Hour Past Midnight

Salma's debut novel is a moving and beautifully-written must-read, says Sian Norris

Sian Norris // 4 October 2009

Categories: Books

 How to survive and thrive as a creative professional for hire

Red Chidgey reviews a step-by-step guide to going freelance

Red Chidgey // 1 October 2009

Categories: Books

 Dirt: Quirks, Habits and Passions of Keeping House

Sian Norris reviews an anthology which explores our feelings about dirt (and cleaning it up)

Sian Norris // 9 September 2009

Categories: Books

Feminist or misogynist?

Stieg Larsson's thrillers have been described as feminist, but Melanie Newman argues they are just the latest in a line of novels which aim to titillate readers with graphic depictions of men raping and murdering women

Melanie Newman // 4 September 2009

Categories: Books


England's first college accepting female undergraduates was established in 1869. In 1948, Cambridge became the last university in the country to grant degrees to its female students. Alexandra Roumbas Goldstein reviews a book which charts the years in between

Alexandra Roumbas Goldstein // 4 September 2009

Categories: Books

 Beyond Noughtie Girls

Ellie Levenson's guide to feminism for the "noughtie girl" apologises too much and asks for too little change, says Laurie Penny

Laurie Penny // 2 August 2009

Categories: Books

 The Noughtie Girl's Guide to Feminism

Although Ellie Levenson's feminist primer makes some sensible points, this is undermined by a raft of offensive statements, a defence of rape jokes and a desire to speak only to the young, white, able-bodied, straight, educated and middle-class, argues Amity Reed

Amity Reed // 2 August 2009

Categories: Books

 The Politics of Breastfeeding

Karen Gregory reviews the 20th anniversary edition of The Politics of Breastfeeding by Gabrielle Palmer

Karen Gregory // 14 July 2009

Categories: Books

 Raising boys? Help yourself to some gender stereotypes

Steve Biddulph's bestseller on bringing up boys takes us on a trip back to 19th century, says Clare Gould

Clare Gould // 25 May 2009

Categories: Books

 Feminism and Peter Pan

JM Barrie's creation Peter Pan has an enduring popularity. Allison McCarthy digs into the sexist and racist history of the play and novel, and how this has been addressed in modern adaptations

Allison McCarthy // 19 April 2009

Categories: Books, Films, Theatre

'The Trouble with Islam Today'

Sabre reviews Irshad Manji's controversial book which challenges some of the ways Islam is practiced

Sabre // 18 March 2009

Categories: Books

 Hellions: Pop Culture's Rebel Women

Why are white, young, male 'rebels' celebrated and revered in pop culture, while women who push against society's sexist and racist norms are marginalised and dismissed? Michelle Wright reviews a book which brings to light stories of the female rebel

Michelle Wright // 13 March 2009

Categories: Books

 Intersex (For Lack of a Better Word)

debi withers reviews Thea Hillman's memoir outlining her own experience as an intersex person, as well as offering a critique of 'normal' and a vision for a queer intersex feminism

debi withers // 18 February 2009

Categories: Books

 The First Person and Other Stories

Ali Smith's latest short story collection teases the reader and plays with the conventions of literature, says Kirsty McHugh

Kirsty Doole // 11 February 2009

Categories: Books

 On the herstory of feminist coalitions

Michelle Wright reviews a book which sketches the history of coalition building between second-wave feminists and other social justice activists

Michelle Wright // 2 February 2009

Categories: Books

 The Woman Who Thought She Was a Planet

Vandana Singh argues that speculative fiction has revolutionary potential. Jess McCabe reviews her latest collection of short stories

Jess McCabe // 4 January 2009

Categories: Books

 Out of Place: Interrogating Silences in Queerness / Raciality

debi withers reviews a collection on the intersection of race and queer politics, which slips between first-person narratives, manifestos and academic tracts

debi withers // 14 December 2008

Categories: Books

 Femmes of Power: Exploding Queer Femininities

What does femme mean, and how does it differ from the 'traditional' femininity which feminism so often puts under the microscope? Milly Shaw reviews a book of photographs of and interviews with femmes from around the world

Milly Shaw // 8 September 2008

Categories: Books

 Janes In Love

Janes In Love is an oddly bloodless story of friendship, boys and 'art attacks', says Sarah C L

Sarah C L // 7 September 2008

Categories: Books

 Loving outside the line of monogamy: Tristan Taormino's new guide to open relationships

Two-person relationships are the default in our culture, but why? Red Chidgey reviews a book which lays open the potential for different kinds of relationships

Red Chidgey // 4 September 2008

Categories: Books


Uglies opens in a world where every teenager undergos extreme surgery on their 16th birthday to mould them into hypnotic and hypnotised 'Pretties'. Cazz Blase reviews a four-part 'trilogy' with plenty to say about body image, cosmetic surgery, citizen journalism, celebrity, the environment and, of course, growing up

Cazz Blase // 3 September 2008

Categories: Books

 The Diving Bell and the Butterfly

What happened to the women in The Diving-bell and the Butterfly in its transition from memoir to film, asks Melanie Newman?

Melanie Newman // 18 July 2008

Categories: Books

 Fragments from the Dark

Debi Withers reviews a book of writing by and interviews with female refugees and asylum seekers in Wales

debi withers // 15 June 2008

Categories: Books

 Rape: an unfinished revolution

Joanna Bourke's history of rape turns a steady and necessary gaze on an unsettling subject, concludes Louise Livesey

Louise Livesey // 4 June 2008

Categories: Books

He's a stud, she's a slut?

Men get angry; women get PMS. Single men are bachelors; single women are spinsters. Jess McCabe wonders how Jessica Valenti limited herself to 49 examples of the double standard

Jess McCabe // 7 May 2008

Categories: Books

 A modern maiden?

Louise Livesey reviews another guide to life as a modern woman which blithely ignores everyone who isn't white, middle class and straight

Louise Livesey // 13 April 2008

Categories: Books

 Tales of low-paid work

Monica Dickens worked as a cook, servant, nurse, in an aircraft factory and as a junior reporter. Cazz Blase reviews her unsentimental portraits of working life in the first half of the 20th century

Cazz Blase // 4 April 2008

Categories: Books

 Live Alone and Like It

Does advice for the single women of 1936 have any bearing today? Cazz Blase reviews Marjorie Hillis' guide to independent living

Cazz Blase // 12 March 2008

Categories: Books

An interrupted life

Etty Hillesum was an 'impassioned, erotically volatile, restless' woman, who was murdered during the Holocaust. Cazz Blase reviews her diaries

Cazz Blase // 8 February 2008

Categories: Books

It's So You

Love clothes, but not in a 'Vogue' way? This collection of essays on expressing identity through fashion could be for you, says Jess McCabe

Jess McCabe // 2 January 2008

Categories: Books

Revolution Girl Style Now!

Jess McCabe reviews a book which documents the powerful girl-centric political and cultural movement that was riot grrrl

Jess McCabe // 7 December 2007

Categories: Books

Get your toe bypass here

Mikhaela Reid is angry. And funny. And she draws. Jess McCabe reviews her first book of cartoons

Jess McCabe // 4 September 2007

Categories: Books

One Hundred Strokes of the Brush Before Bed

Melissa Panarello's teenage sex diary shocked the adult world for all the wrong reasons, argues Irina Lester

Irina Lester // 29 August 2007

Categories: Books


Men! is more intelligent than other dating books, but still assumes that women are incomplete as single individuals. Diane Shipley reports

Diane Shipley // 11 August 2007

Categories: Books

The Great Big Glorious (Sexist) Book for Girls

While boys are instructed on the art of the catapult, girls are presented with ponies and pom-poms. Paul Brown is unimpressed

Paul Brown // 8 August 2007

Categories: Books

Sexism and the System

Judith Orr's pamphlet puts the backlash against feminism into a wider context, says Ben Drake

Ben Drake // 7 July 2007

Categories: Books

Big Sister

In an alternate universe, the most popular reality show on TV is Big Sister, and it is populated by some feminists you might recognise. They are all discussing Jessica Valenti's new book Full Frontal Feminism. But, Kate Smurthwaite argues, they are missing the point

Kate Smurthwaite // 6 June 2007

Categories: Books

The Feminine Mistake

When Leslie Bennetts urged women to stay in the workplace after starting a family, she outraged millions of Americans. JC Sutcliffe reviews the lessons we can take away from her book - and its limitations

JC Sutcliffe // 2 May 2007

Categories: Books, Reviews

Female Chauvinist Pigs

Six F Word readers discuss Ariel Levy's influential book on 'raunch culture' and the women who support it. Discussion by Marianne Lemond, Abby O'Reilly, Sheryl Plant, Holly Combe, Jessica Bateman and Catherine Redfern.

Various Authors // 3 February 2007

Categories: Books

Girl With a One Track Mind - Abby Lee

Abby Lee's diary has become a best seller due to the frank, humorous, and explicit descriptions of her sex life in London. Catherine Redfern considers some of the feminist implications of this popular blogger's book.

Catherine Redfern // 6 January 2007

Categories: Books

Trickster's Choice / Trickster's Queen - Tamora Pierce

Cazz Blase introduces Tamora Pierce's latest fantasy series for young adults, which feature strong heroines and touch on issues of colonialism and race.

Cazz Blase // 4 December 2006

Categories: Books

Like Mother, Like Daughter?

Clare Burgess reviews this collection of short stories for children. Collected by Bel Mooney, the stories all focus on the concept of the mother-daughter relationship. But can this really be seen as a generic experience?

Clare Burgess // 4 December 2006

Categories: Books

Roger Fishbite

Cazz Blase reviews Emily Prager's story about a thirteen year old girl which raises interesting questions about childhood and abuse.

Cazz Blase // 2 July 2006

Categories: Books


Alexandra Kokoli reviews Tracey Emin's Strangeland, which contains autobiographical writings touching on rape, abortion and marginalization.

Alexandra M Kokoli // 4 June 2006

Categories: Books

How Opal Mehta Got Kissed Got Wild And Got A Life

Clare Burgess reviews Kaavya Viswanathan's 'coming of age' story. Purporting to be about a teenage character finding herself, it is in fact is a rather predictable tale where the happy ending involves - guess what? - finding a boyfriend.

Clare Burgess // 29 May 2006

Categories: Books

Sex and The Married Girl

Mandi Norwood claims to have discovered a new type of woman: The Married Girl, an empowered, assertive specimen who is revolutionising marriage on her own terms and insisting on being treated as an equal parter. Sounds like a feminist dream come true; so why does Catherine Redfern find this book so annoying?

Catherine Redfern // 1 April 2006

Categories: Books

Feminism: A Very Short Introduction

Ealasaid Gilfillan recommends 'Feminism: A Very Short Introduction' by Margaret Walters as a clear, useful introduction to the history of English feminism.

Ealasaid Gilfillan // 9 January 2006

Categories: Books


Mary Ellen Flynn reviews Nell by Nell McCafferty, in which a Catholic lesbian feminist recounts her experiences growing up and living in Northern Ireland. Flynn finds inspiration in McCafferty's mantra: "When women rise up, giving authority to their children to do likewise, the revolution is unstoppable"

Mary Ellen Flynn // 28 November 2005

Categories: Books

We Need to Talk About Kevin

Janet Phillips reviews the book by Lionel Shriver which won the Orange Prize for Fiction 2005. As she explains, the book paints a picture of motherhood and parenting that is far from mainstream.

Michelle Wright // 2 August 2005

Categories: Books

He's Just Not That Into You

Remember ladies, it's all about You, You, YOU! says latest self-help guru Greg Behrendt, author of yet another book claiming men should always initiate relationships and women never should. Holly Combe rips this latest publishing phenomenon to shreds.

Holly Combe // 1 August 2005

Categories: Books

365 Days of Sensational Sex

Will Lorraine Smith have 365 days of "sensational sex" by following sexpert Lou Paget's suggestions? (It's a tough job being a reviewer for The F-Word, ain't it?)

Lorraine Smith // 11 August 2004

Categories: Books

The Sexual Life of Catherine M

The Guardian referred to 'the double life of Catherine M' in their interview on her controversial sexual memoir, but it seems more likely that Catherine Millet's sexual memoir hoped to reconcile the duality between 'normal life' and sex. Tamlyn Monson tries to unwind some of the issues the book raises.

Tamlyn Monson // 1 August 2004

Categories: Books

Taking Charge of Your Fertility

'Taking Charge of Your Fertility' contains empowering practical information for every woman, whether avoiding pregnancy or seeking it. It is the logical follow-on from the classic 'Our Bodies, Ourselves' and is just as ground-breaking, says Catherine Redfern.

Catherine Redfern // 1 June 2004

Categories: Books

Refusing to Be a Man

Why is 'girl' a terrible insult, why can't boys wear pink, and why are there boxes of tissues labelled 'for men'? Catherine Redfern explains how 'Refusing to be a Man' by John Stoltenberg may hold the answer.

Catherine Redfern // 16 April 2004

Categories: Books

The Boy

Until recently, girls have always been the ones looked at rather than the ones looking. Is this a right, a freedom, or a burden? Should boys be able to enjoy - or suffer - the same fate? Is Germaine Greer right when she claims boys lose out by not being considered beautiful? With these questions in mind, Holly Combe reviews Greer's 'The Boy.'

Holly Combe // 16 January 2004

Categories: Books

Searching For Sense And Reason

Cazz Blase sympathises with novelist Jenny Colgan's criticisms of the derogatory term "Chick Lit" - but insists the problem is more complex, and also not as new as is commonly thought.

Cazz Blase // 16 October 2003

Categories: Books

Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix

The Harry Potter series is incredibly popular with children and adults alike. Beth Anderson is also a fan, but she wonders what messages the most recent book, Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, is sending about the role of boys and girls (and men and women). Is the magical world created by J.K Rowling as limited by stereotypes as ours?

Beth Anderson // 16 August 2003

Categories: Books

Lady Roxana

Anna Fioravanti explains why Lady Roxanna by Daniel Defoe will always be a special book for her.

Anna Fioravanti // 16 April 2003

Categories: Books

Interview with Lucy O'Brien

Cazz Blase interviews the author of She Bop II

Cazz Blase // 16 December 2002

Categories: Books, Music

Feminist Must-Reads

In September we asked the readers of The F-Word to send us their lists of recommended feminist books: what are their favourite feminist must reads? Here's the results. The most recommended book? Germaine Greer's The Whole Woman.

Various Authors // 16 October 2002

Categories: Books

Inappropriate Behaviour: Prada Sucks! and other Demented Descants

Catherine Redfern asks whether this eyebrow-raising new book is really feminist.

Catherine Redfern // 16 June 2002

Categories: Books


"I really wanted to like this book, but even a few pages in, I knew I wasn't going to enjoy it... " Catherine Redfern forces herself to read...

Catherine Redfern // 16 November 2001

Categories: Books

Pinch these off your mum's bookshelf!

Janet Evans introduces two feminst classics: 'Woman on the Edge of Time' and 'The Bell Jar'

Janet Evans // 16 October 2001

Categories: Books

The First Fifty: Munro-Bagging Without a Beard

Catherine Redfern goes munro-bagging.

Catherine Redfern // 16 August 2001

Categories: Books

The British Woman Today: a qualitative survey of the images in women's magazines

Catherine Redfern was not impressed...

Catherine Redfern // 16 June 2001

Categories: Books

In Our Time: Memoir of a Revolution

Reviewed by Catherine Redfern.

Catherine Redfern // 16 June 2001

Categories: Books


Catherine Redfern reviews Joan Smith's book.

Catherine Redfern // 16 June 2001

Categories: Books

The Gilrlfrenzy Millenial

The Gilrlfrenzy Millenial, reviewed by Catherine Redfern.

Catherine Redfern // 16 May 2001

Categories: Books

The Curse

Catherine Redfern reviews the The Curse by Karen Houppert

Catherine Redfern // 16 May 2001

Categories: Books

Overloaded : Popular culture and the future of feminism

Imelda Whelehan's critique of British popular culture, reviewed by Catherine Redfern.

Catherine Redfern // 16 April 2001

Categories: Books

Where The Girls Are

Catherine Redfern reviews Susan J. Douglas's book.

Catherine Redfern // 16 April 2001

Categories: Books

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