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Unspeakable Things


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Britain's youngest and smartest activist and columnist gets to grips with the sexual counter-revolution and all it entails for women and for men

About the Author

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. Born in 1986, she lives in London. @PennyRed


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 *

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