Unspeakable Things

Unspeakable Things : Sex, Lies and Revolution

4.05 (1,968 ratings by Goodreads)
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Shortlisted for The Green Carnation Prize 2014

`This is not a fairytale. This is a story about how sex and money and power police our dreams.'

Clear-eyed, witty and irreverent, Laurie Penny is as ruthless in her dissection of modern feminism and class politics as she is in discussing her own experiences in journalism, activism and underground culture.

This is a book about poverty and prejudice, online dating and eating disorders, riots in the streets and lies on the television. The backlash is on against sexual freedom for men and women and social justice -- and feminism needs to get braver.

Penny speaks for a new feminism that takes no prisoners, a feminism that is about justice and equality, but also about freedom for all. It's about the freedom to be who we are, to love who we choose, to invent new gender roles, and to speak out fiercely against those who would deny us those rights. It is a book that gives the silenced a voice -- a voice that speaks of unspeakable things.
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Product details

  • Paperback | 288 pages
  • 134 x 214 x 24mm | 320g
  • Bloomsbury Publishing PLC
  • London, United Kingdom
  • English
  • 1408824744
  • 9781408824740
  • 152,227

Review quote

Laurie Penny is such an insightful, provocative and bold commentator. She is always relevant without slavishly following a supposedly 'topical' agenda set by others. Most importantly, she never compromises her compassion and humanity in the myopic pursuit of an idea. It's such qualities that make Unspeakable Things essential for anybody who truly believes in equality and freedom * Irvine Welsh * Full of the rhythm and repetition on oratory and persuasive and unsettling in its view of western society as a damaging dystopia causing untold harm to all but those at the very top. It is angry and challenging, but also full of compassion - including for men, many of whom have also been disenfranchised by systems they did not choose ... Unspeakable Things is an impressive, inspiring and, I suspect, important manifesto * Melissa Harrison, Financial Times * Penny thrills in being provocative and dramatic ... She writes well about the social pressures they are under to behave with macho "masculinity" at all times * Daisy Wyatt, Independent * Powerfully argued ... Penny has a great turn of phrase * Evening Standard * As Penny demonstrates, in a great, defining chapter on the internet, we are dealing with a new world order ... This book is funny and cheeky ... and refreshingly generous * Observer * A raw, bright, urgent voice ... Like Caitlin Moran, another compulsive and essentially self-taught writer, she went to places others didn't and brought back things they had missed ... Dazzling ... Penny writes ... with intimacy and insight that smack of real knowledge * Guardian * Laurie Penny can certainly coin a phrase ... she writes well, inclusively and cogently with passion ... Let's hear it for "young, lady writers" behaving badly * Herald * Unflinching ... In Unspeakable Things, Laurie Penny reclaims the word insolent, turning it into a compliment and a call to arms * TLS * The spiky subversiveness of Laurie's journalism is best summed up by her sub-title, 'sex, lies, and revolution'. This is feminism with no apologies given, no compromises surrendered and a sharp-edged radicalism all the better for both. -- Mark Perryman * Philosophical Football * Many of us who "find" feminism when we are young do so through books. For many women of my age who were young in the late 80s, it was Kate Millet's Sexual Politics; for many young men and women of today, it will be Laurie Penny's personal yet political take on the state of sexual politics now. One can hope so, anyway, for the current crop of excellent feminist commentators, she probably strikes the best balance between the personal and political. Her voice is passionate without being one-dimensional. She addresses the need today for young men to be included in feminism's discussions while never losing sight of women's own particular experiences -- Lesley McDowell * Independent on Sunday *
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About Laurie Penny

Laurie Penny is a writer and journalist. She writes for Vice, the Guardian and many other publications, is a columnist and Contributing Editor at the New Statesman magazine and Editor-at-Large at cult New York literary project The New Inquiry. At the age of twenty-three she was the youngest person to be shortlisted for the Orwell Prize for Political Writing for her blog 'Penny Red' which, like her first feminist book, Meat Market: Female Flesh Under Capitalism, was a word-of-mouth hit. She has reported on radical politics, protest, digital culture and feminism from around the world, working with activists from the Occupy movement and the European youth uprisings. She has 75,000 followers on Twitter and in 2012 won the British Media Awards' `Twitter Public Personality of the Year' prize, which she accepted in absentia with a speech about the ongoing harassment of women on social media. Laurie is a nerd, a nomad and an activist. She is twenty-six years old and lives in London.

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Rating details

1,968 ratings
4.05 out of 5 stars
5 38% (748)
4 38% (745)
3 17% (332)
2 6% (114)
1 1% (29)
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