Power – Gender and Naomi Alderman’s Novel

In terms of power and control, it’s a scary time. Unity and strength seem to be giving way to individual gripes and complaints, people turned against each other to shout blame for the lives they’re not happy with. Unstable times lead to unlikely heroes. People currently in power are those that we wouldn’t have dreamed […]

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Audience Survey

Hello to all my followers! If you have a couple of minutes, please take the time to fill in this really quick survey, so I can get a better idea about what content you’d like more of. This information will not be used for marketing purposes, it’s purely for personal interest and for a course […]

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Lessons from YA Books

Having read several dystopian novels lately (see my thoughts here) I decided to try a YA version, to see how they compared. I was pleasantly surprised. While I’m incredibly wary of genre-specific snobbery, I confess I am subject to a bit of it when it comes to the YA genre. The books that I’ve read […]

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When Revenge Goes Bad…

Frank Herbert offers us an insight into the darker side of human nature in The White Plague, an apocalyptic tale of revenge. The cover of the book is very apt – murky fog, a solitary figure, a town shrouded in obscurity. Even if the weather is fine, or we are indoors, this novel revels in […]

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How Not to Write a Feminist Utopia/Dystopia

Recently, I’ve been delving into the world of gender-based utopian fiction (that usually winds up being dystopian). Yes, it’s a little niche, but seeing as I’m dabbling with something like that myself, I thought I’d spend a bit of time seeing what was already out there. From my search, I’ve discovered a fair bit. Mostly […]

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Hag-Seed – Book Review

A new book by Margaret Atwood! Very exciting. I went along to her talk at the Southbank Centre (proper fan moment) and heard her discuss the book, her life, and her work. She is one interesting lady. She also has good shoes (silver!). There’s something incredibly refreshing about listening to someone like her talk. Intelligent, […]

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Y: The Last Man – Book Review

I know I’m massively behind the times in reading this, but as I’m currently working on a similar narrative, several people recommended this graphic novel as a good place to look at how a gender-imbalanced dystopia played out. Interesting ideas, some lessons learned, and a few pitfalls to avoid. On a day in 2002, a […]

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We Are All Disordered

This month I started teaching AS Media Studies. What a treat. I’d forgotten the delights of delving into the signs and representations that we are bombarded with in daily life, and unpicking the institutions behind them, the messages they send us, and why. Of course, it can lead to a few rude awakenings. Poring over […]

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Be Bold

Summarising a DeLillo novel is always a tricky task. Well, it’s about football, but also about nuclear war, but then it’s about power and masculinity, about language and the way we use it and are used by it. That’s summary of End Zone. Technically, it’s a novel about a kid called Gary Harkness who goes […]

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We Need to Keep Talking About Kevin

In the book I’ve just finished reading, several rather unpleasant things happen. Arguably the first most significant even is when, about 200 pages in, a mother throws her six-year-old son across the nursery so hard he breaks his arm. Upsetting, yes, but not for the reasons you might think. Because as the arc of the […]

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