My next book, Tastes of Honey, a biography of playwright Shelagh Delaney, is now available to order and in all good bookshops. You can read more about it on the Shelagh Delaney page of this website. Below, you can find details of upcoming events at which I’m talking about this book or my other interests.
13 October 2019: ‘Understanding the past, building our future’ – panel with Stuart Maconie, Paul Mason and Billy Bragg to close the Birmingham Literary Festival.
12 October: ‘Women and Class’ at the Durham Book Festival – I’m appearing with Kerry Hudson to discuss Tastes of Honey and her terrific Lowborn. Booking essential
18 September: Talking at the Working Class Movement Library about Tastes of Honey, alongside Jenna Omeltschenko (Touring Partnerships Manager, National Theatre) and Rob Lees (Director, MaD Theatre Company) about the challenges and delights of staging Shelagh Delaney’s debut play. Free but places are limited and it’s first come first served!
12 September 2019: Book launch for Tastes of Honey: the making of Shelagh Delaney and a Cultural Revolution, Salford Museum and Art Gallery, 6.30-8.30pm. Come along and hear me introduce the book, enjoy a short performance by MaD Theatre Company, music from DJ Lippy and Vanessa Maria, and hear from the National Theatre about their new tour of A Taste of Honey, which opens in Salford just two days later! You can also buy the book and enjoy a free glass of wine. Booking is free but essential here
I am delighted and honoured to be speaking at A Woman’s Place is Back in Town in London on 20 May. Venue TBC, but details and booking are here. Book soon to avoid disappointment. A Woman’s Place is a terrific organisation fighting for women’s rights. I share their conviction that sex and gender are different entities. I am extremely concerned by the idea that people can ‘feel’ as if they are a woman and therefore ‘identify’ as such, which is used to justify allowing natal born men access to women-only spaces such as changing rooms, toilets and refuges. As a historian, I also refute the idea that being a woman is a feeling. It is not a feeling innate to some people and denied to others. Being a woman is a lived experience. Natal women face particular oppressions because of our actual and potential role as mother. It is that experience that I write about, not least my forthcoming biography of Shelagh Delaney. I would not have been able to write that book about a working-class woman playwright, let alone find a publisher for it, without generations of feminists struggling to ensure that women’s experiences are taken seriously. Of course we’re very far from winning that fight, and I’m therefore very appreciative of the excellent work that A Woman’s Place does
I’ll be chairing a discussion with Melissa Benn, author of Life Lessons, and Professor Diane Reay, author of Miseducation, about the future of our education system. Plenty of opportunity for audience questions and discussion. Friends Meeting House, Manchester, 7pm. Booking free but essential here