‘Generation of warriors’

For emerging women novelists, the #MeToo movement drives the plot

Journalist and author Laura Bates. (Photo by Cindy Ord/Getty Images for The Women's Media Center)

A new wave of women novelists is tackling sexual assault, rape and gaslighting, echoing issues that have gained traction as part of the #MeToo movement.

Many of the year’s most anticipated debuts would once have been considered difficult to market, according to some publishers and writers, such as Harriet Tyce’s feminist crime novel Blood Orange, and Stacey Halls’s The Familiars, a tale of female friendship during the 17th century witch trials.

“The #MeToo movement has been quite enabling for women in that it’s confirmed our worst suspicions,” Sarah Davis-Goff, the head of independent publisher Tramp Press, told The Guardian. “There is something incredibly powerful about finding out that you are not alone, and what we’re seeing in a lot of upcoming fiction is authors working through this and really digging into their experiences.”

Mel McGrath, the author of The Guilty Party, a novel about a group of friends who witness a woman’s assault, agreed, adding that “sexual assault and rape — so long seen as an intimate, private crime — is now being written about as a public crime.”

Laura Bates, the founder of the Everyday Sexism Project and author of her own debut work, The Burning, said that younger generations of women were increasingly willing to acknowledge and speak out against sexual assault, breaking a cycle of silence and shame.

“This generation are so often painted as melting snowflakes when the reality is that they’re a generation of warriors,” said Bates. “They’re forming feminist societies at school, they’re protesting, they’re standing together. If publishers are picking up on that, then it can only be a good thing.”

Read the full story at The Guardian.

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