Unspeakable Things: Sex, Lies, and Revolution

Laurie Penny. Bloomsbury, $16 trade paper (368p) ISBN 978-1-62040-689-2
Journalist and activist Penny (Meat Market) combines unsparing autobiography and searing political analysis in her latest book; the result is a powerful feminist polemic that critiques the structure of society. Though she adopts a radical perspective, Penny avoids the usual hectoring that overvalues the politics of the personal, and she makes it clear that, as a feminist, she’s not interested in how women dress or whether they wear makeup. Instead, Penny tackles broad issues of gender and sexuality. The first two chapters provide a masterful analysis of the place of both women and men in society, and later chapters present Penny’s brilliant views on sexuality and “cybersexism.” The author incorporates rich personal narratives that serve as reminders of the injuries inflicted on individuals by the social problems under discussion. The book is chilling and accessible, a majestic treasury of ghost stories that are, in fact, all too real. Penny has given us a feminist book for our time that burns with a wild light and deserves attention. Agent: Juliet Pickering, Blake Friedmann (U.K.) (Sept.)
Reviewed on: 06/23/2014
Release date: 09/16/2014
Genre: Nonfiction
Open Ebook - 288 pages - 978-1-4088-2608-9
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