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.
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 *