These bite size essays from the author of Testo Junkie offer urgent and transgressive routes beyond the grim horizons of our current social and political landscape. For anyone seeking to uncover what it is to live and write radically, this is essential reading.
Join us as we welcome JJ Bola and Natalie Fiennes to read from and discuss their new books, MASK OFF and BEHIND CLOSED DOORS, the first two titles published by Pluto Press for their new series, Outspoken.
MASK OFF: MASCULINITY REDEFINED by JJ Bola
In Mask Off, JJ Bola exposes masculinity as a performance that men are socially conditioned into. Using examples of non-Western cultural traditions, music and sport, he shines light on historical narratives around manhood and debunks popular myths.
‘JJ Bola succeeds not only in holding men accountable for the ways in which we have benefited from male privilege, but also in liberating us from its violently toxic demands. Without instrumentalising feminism for male interests, ‘Mask Off’ bravely seeks to dismantle intersectional axes of oppression that materialise from patriarchal structures’ — David Lammy, MP
JJ Bola is a writer, poet and educator. He is the author of the novel No Place to Call Home (2017). He is a contributor to Derek Owusu’s Safe: On Black British Men Reclaiming Space.
BEHIND CLOSED DOORS: SEX EDUCATION TRANSFORMED by Natalie Fiennes
From contraceptives to virginity, consent to pornography, transphobia to sexual abuse, Behind Closed Doors demands a radical, inclusive and honest sex education. Going beyond the ‘birds and the bees’ it unravels how our desires are influenced by powerful political processes that can be transformed.
Natalie Fiennes is a journalist and filmmaker. She is currently working in documentary film making and has taught sex education and consent classes in schools, universities, and youth centres around the UK.
Platforming underrepresented voices; intervening in important political issues; revealing powerful histories and giving voice to our personal experiences; Outspoken is a book series unlike any other. Unravelling debates on sex education, masculinity, feminism, mental health, and class and inequality, Outspoken has the answers to the questions you’re asking.
Virago Speakeasy at Pages Cheshire Street is a new event partnership bringing together Virago and non-Virago authors and readers in a dynamic, challenging and interactive forum.
Join us on the eve of Halloween for a special Virago event on witches. From ancient folklore to gothic historical novels, from Trump’s campaign propaganda to protest movements, from the Bible to pop music, women have been called witches – and many are proud to claim the title. Are witches the wise women in society, the rebels or the villains – and how does their depiction in our favourite stories shape our understanding of their role? Grab a friend, a drink and share tales of your wickedest women for a spellbinding night of literary chat (and a few cackles).
The Virago Speakeasy at Pages is sponsored by Lussa Gin and Wild Card Brewery, two great indie drinks companies run by women.