OurShelves: Rescue with Donna Coonan
How do you rediscover a forgotten feminist masterpiece?
Donna Coonan is Editorial Director of the Virago Modern Classics list, which was set up 1978 to demonstrate the existence of a necessary canon of women’s writing and to challenge the sometimes narrow definition of what a ‘classic’ is. Since 2005, she has brought over 200 new books including those by Muriel Spark, Barbara Pym and Patricia Highsmith to this beloved list with its iconic green spines.
Join Lucy Scholes as she fangirls with Donna about the VMCs and find out how she does the detective work of a classics editor; how Virago reassessed the legacy of Daphne du Maurier, championing her as a vital 20th century author when she’d been dismissed as a writer of romances; how Valley of the Dolls challenges the definition of a classic; and how she’s bringing prescient, ground-breaking Black American authors like Gayl Jones, Ann Petry and Gloria Naylor back into print.
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On the nightstand – books that are currently on your bedside table
Shirley Jackson’s short stories
On your mind – a recent article, podcast, film, series or song
The ‘Better Things’ sitcom
On the shelf – one book that made you think about feminism in a new way
The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood
On the pedestal – tell us about one person (woman or non-binary) you admire
Ruth Coker Burks
Tune in next time for more conversation about books, feminism and culture.
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