The Red Word

The Red Word

3.76 (1,290 ratings by Goodreads)
By (author) 

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The myths don t have a clue what to do with women. They have nothing to say about us whatsoever. We need to build our own f**king mythology. When Ivy League university student Karen wakes up after a frat party on the lawn of a house of radical feminists, she gets a crash course in anti-frat activism on campus. One frat house, GBC, is especially notorious, with several brothers named on a list of date rapists by female students. Despite continuing to party at GBC and even dating one of the brothers, Karen is seduced by the intellectual stimulation and indomitable spirit of the Raghurst women. As she finds herself caught between two increasingly polarised camps, her feminist housemates believe they have hit on the perfect way to bring down the fraternity and expose rape culture ... but the war between the houses will exact a terrible price. The Red Word offers a lyrical yet eyes-wide-open account of the epic clash between fraternities time-honoured right to party and young women's demands for sexual safety and respect. With strains of The Marriage Plot and reminiscent of the work of Zadie Smith, Donna Tartt and Tom Wolfe, The Red Word arrives on the Wings of Furies.
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Product details

  • Paperback | 328 pages
  • 152 x 229 x 32mm | 523g
  • Ireland
  • English
  • 1999700872
  • 9781999700874
  • 586,418

Review quote

LOUISE O'NEILL 'I haven't been able to stop thinking about The Red Word since I devoured it in one sitting.'

KIRKUS REVIEWS 'An aesthetically arresting interrogation of rape culture... timely and brilliant.'

PUBLISHERS WEEKLY 'Raises essential questions surrounding class privilege, rape, and gendered power dynamics on campus'

NEW YORKER 'Henstra draws on Greek mythology to comment on contemporary issues - how assault can take on ambiguity and how the internalization of rape culture convolutes gender politics, to the point where constructive conversation is nearly impossible.'

COSMOPOLITAN 'Sarah Henstra's The Red Word will get you fuming, laughing, cheering, and most of all, thinking.'

HARPER'S BAZAAR 'Timely and incisive.'

IRISH TIMES 'Henstra writes sensitively and fluently on sex, desire, rape and power... an almost seamless mix of high and low cultures that offers a timely treatise on rape culture in elite universities.'

INDEPENDENT '...a fiercely smart, independently-minded page turner that stays light to the touch and full of youthful candour.'
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About Sarah Henstra

Sarah Henstra is an Associate Professor of English literature at Ryerson University. She is the author of Mad Miss Mimic, an historical tale for young adults, and We Contain Multitudes, slated for publication in 2019. The Red Word is her first work of adult fiction. Sarah lives in Toronto, Canada.
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Rating details

1,290 ratings
3.76 out of 5 stars
5 23% (301)
4 42% (546)
3 24% (306)
2 8% (101)
1 3% (36)
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