Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Paperbacks

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Paperbacks

Article excerpt

Byline: William Leith

UNSPEAKABLE THINGS by Laurie Penny (Bloomsbury, PS9.99) LAURIE Penny tells us a difficult truth: that even after decades of feminism we still live in an incredibly sexist world. She's right, and this is a book I'd recommend to everybody. Of women, she says, "We are supposed to be objects of desire, not desiring beings." She writes memorable phrases: "Anyone succeeding at the pretty-girl game, however briefly, has to face the suspicion and hostility of other women as well as the worshipful contempt of men." One of her most salient points is that the gender roles we are trapped in harm everybody men as well as women. But we are still stuck behind these masks. An excellent polemic.

THE FIRST BAD MAN by Miranda July (Canongate, PS8.99) CHERYL is a 43-year-old woman. She tells us about her private rituals. You might think she's odd but is this because she has an unusual relationship with her cutlery, or because she tells us about it? …

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