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Natasha Walter has worked as a journalist, columnist and reviewer for Vogue, the Guardian, the Observer and the Independent, has judged the Booker Prize, and is the founder of the charity Women for Refugee Women.
July 2016 Debut of the Month. Wife. Mother. Spy. The publisher’s blurb tells us. Now Laura just wants a ‘a quiet life’ and so we follow her to that conclusion. As a young American woman just before World War II she meets a working-class English communist on the boat to London and somewhat hero-worships her, absorbing her beliefs. Laura’s privileged English cousins with whom she stays also influence her as they are set on a good time even into the early war years. Part of this set is Edward, who works for the Foreign Office. He is both our love interest and our spy. The fabric around the story is the pressure of living a lie, of always dissembling, of playing a role and always being on your guard. Edward drinks to cope, Laura lives as a totally false person, an empty-headed socialite which is how she is eventually perceived. This is a very interesting slant on the Cold War, a fascinating read.
Featured on The Book Show on Sky Arts on 29 April 2010. A straight-talking, passionate and important book that makes us look afresh at women and girls, at sexism and femininity, today.
Wife.Mother.Spy.A double life is no life at all.Since the disappearance of her husband in 1951, Laura Leverett has been living in limbo with her daughter in Geneva. All others see is her conventional, charming exterior; nobody guesses the secret she is carrying.Her double life began years ago, when she stepped on to the boat which carried her across the Atlantic in 1939. Eager to learn, and eager to love, she found herself suddenly inspired by a young Communist woman she met on the boat. In London she begins to move between two different worlds - from the urbane society of her cousins and their upper class friends, to the anger of those who want to forge a new society. One night at a party she meets a man who seems to her to combine both worlds, but who is hiding a secret bigger than she could ever imagine.Impelled by desire, she finds herself caught up in his hidden life. Love grows, but so do fear and danger. This is the warm-blooded story of the Cold War. The story of a wife whose part will take her from London in the Blitz, to Washington at the height of McCarthyism, to the possible haven of the English countryside. Gradually she learns what is at stake for herself, her husband, and her daughter; gradually she realises the dark consequences of her youthful idealism.Sweeping and exhilarating, alive with passion and betrayal, A Quiet Life is the first novel from a brilliant new voice in British fiction.
Doscientos anos despues de la aparicion de los primeros movimientos feministas, asistimos a una mutacion sorprendente. Dos discursos aparentemente irrefutables, el de la libre eleccion y el de la biologia, han derivado respectivamente en un nuevo sexismo y un nuevo determinismo que contribuyen a fijar los estereotipos sobre el comportamiento femenino y masculino. Por un lado, "e;la imagen de la perfeccion femenina a la que las mujeres deberian aspirar esta (cada vez mas) definida por el atractivo sexual"e;, un atractivo cuya formulacion determina, trasladandola a toda la sociedad, la propia industria del sexo. Esta situacion se justifica sistematicamente con el argumento de que se trata de "e;elecciones"e; que realizan las propias mujeres. Por otro lado, "e;la conviccion de que "e;la quimica y la estructura del cerebro"e; y "e;la inclinacion genetica"e; explican el comportamiento femenino estereotipado sirve no solo para explicar como aprenden y juegan las ninas pequenas, sino tambien para justificar las desigualdades que encontramos en la vida adulta"e;. Pero esas "e;elecciones"e; podran no ser tan libres, y los "e;descubrimientos cientficos"e; podran no ser tan concluyentes. Walter cuestiona la validez de ambos discursos basndose, en gran parte, en la crnica de su impacto en la sociedad britnica.
Where has British feminism gone? Has it retreated into the academy, did it burn out at Greenham Common, has it emigrated to the United States? Natasha Walter discovers that there is a new feminism right here and now in Britain. It is alive and kicking and speaking in the voices of young British women. In defining this new feminism, Natasha Walter celebrates women's growing power, casts aside the dogma of previous generations, and argues that the old adage 'The Personal is Political' does more harm than good. Because above all, this new feminism is frankly materialist. Who cares about how women dress, how they talk, how they make love? First, feminism must deliver political power and economic equality. With tremendous wit, verve and intelligence, THE NEW FEMINISM marks out fresh ground in feminist debate.