Writing on the UK’s main feminist website The F Word, Sarah Graham reviews Penny Red: Notes from the New Age of Dissent, finding it to be “a unified showcase of Laurie Penny’s best writing, from the New Statesman, Penny Red, The Guardian and more, including a number of my personal favourites. It’s not hard to be inspired and moved by much of Penny’s writing, even on points you might disagree with!”
This is a woman with a real talent for words, but also a journalist grounded in a hands-on approach to reportage. Penny writes passionately about the issues that affect her life and the lives of young women like her. Most notably when it comes to her reporting of UK protests, Penny does not write as a spectator but as someone who has got stuck into the action, often tweeting live from the scene of kettles and baton charges. She writes as someone who understands the mood of the situation because she’s engaged with it, making no attempt to mask the personal feelings in her writing.
Penny has spoken of being warned against too close an involvement with the student and UK Uncut protest movements for the sake of her career; but she is a writer of conviction with an agenda all of her own, based on principles she passionately believes in – an admirable quality in any journalist.
The book is divided into five chapters: ‘This is Actually Happening’, featuring collected writings on the last 12 months of protests; ‘Girl Trouble’, a selection of Penny’s feminist pieces; ‘Kingdom of Rains’, on politics and the Tories; ‘Cultural Capital’, covering Facebook and Sex And The City, to name only a couple; and concluding with ‘Their Hallucinations, Our Desires’, a revolutionary call to arms, proclaiming the power of the people.
Visit The F Word to read the review in full.
Notes from the New Age of Dissent
Laurie Penny. Foreword by Warren Ellis
Selected writings from a prominent voice of the new activist left. Reflections on being young, broke and angry in the twenty-first century.
“Cuts, sexism and riots, Laurie Penny’s fresh and angry voice captures the moment and the important issues – highly recommended.” – Polly Toynbee
“Penny is re-inventing the language of dissent, delivering verbal taser-barbs to the left and right, and causing apoplexy among the old men in cardigans who run the British blogosphere.” – Paul Mason, economics editor of BBC’s Newsnight