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Feminist book fortnight: two weeks in June

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feminist book fortnight, June 2018, independent bookshops, festival, diverse feminist booksBookshops around the country will be highlighting the diversity of feminist books.

In celebration of Vote 100, the hundredth anniversary of (some) women in the UK getting the vote, a group of radical and independent bookshops is launching Feminist Book Fortnight, a celebration of feminist books.

There has been an explosion of new feminist publishing in the last two to three years. Books by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, Laura Bates, Mary Beard, Laurie Penny, Rebecca Solnit, 404Ink, and many others have become bestsellers. And younger feminists are also discovering feminist classics by writers and activists such as Audre Lorde, whose writing was recently republished in the UK by Silver Press.

And this year independent bookshops around the country will be highlighting the diversity of feminist books over two weeks in June – from Saturday 16 June to Saturday 30 June with displays of books and events.

There is no central event organisation for this promotion. Each bookshop will be doing whatever they wish to do as part of this promotion.

And each one has been invited to place details of their events on Feminist Book Fortnight’s Facebook page.

Here are some of the bookshops already involved in Feminist Book Fortnight.

Beckenham Bookshop, Beckenham, Kent;

The Big Comfy Bookshop, Coventry;

The Big Green Bookshop, London;

Bookmarks, London;

Bookseller Crow On The Hill, London;

The Bookshop Kibworth, Leicestershire;

Brick Lane Bookshop, London;

Bridport Bookshop, Bridport, Dorset;

The Broadway Bookshop, Hackney;

Burley Fisher Books, London;

Drake The Bookshop, Stockton-on-Tees;

Five Leaves Bookshop, Nottingham;

Forum Books, Corbridge, Northumberland;

Golden Hare Books, Edinburgh;

Gay’s the Word, London;

Housmans Bookshop, London;

Imagined Things, Harrogate;

Lighthouse, Edinburgh;

New Beacon Books, London;

Newham Bookshop, London;

News From Nowhere, Liverpool;

October Books, Southampton;

Pages of Hackney, London;

Rogan’s Books, Bedford;

Scarthin Books, Cromford, Derbyshire;

Warwick Books, Warwick; and

West End Lane Books, London.

If you can add a bookshop to this list, please do.

Talking to The Bookseller, Jane Anger – of Five Lives Bookshop, who have spearheaded the idea – said that plans to put together the fortnight-long campaign stemmed from the frustration booksellers felt about the lack of diversity in publishing, which, she said, had not advanced for decades.

“[We felt] we were having to revisit the same issues some of us campaigned about in the 1980s,” Anger said.

“The 2016 VIDA statistics showed the continuing bias in reviews; the fact that women writers were finding they were published/reviewed more often if they had a male protagonist; the absolute lack of diversity in children’s books.”

The aim of the campaign was to “make an intervention into the debate about diversity in publishing and, significantly, to make that intervention from outside London.”

“This led us in to conversations about initiating a trade promotion this year in order to help ensure that the debate continues,” Anger added: “Diversity issues have had a habit of becoming flavour of the month and then sliding off the agenda.”

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