Natasha Walter is a writer of both fiction and non-fiction, a journalist and human rights activist. Her books include The New Feminism and Living Dolls: The Return of Sexism, which was reissued as one of Virago’s 50thAnniversary Five Gold reads this year. On this episode of Ourshelves, Natasha and Lucy Scholes discuss the continued relevance of Living Dolls in terms of the unfinished revolution of feminism and the ongoing effort to liberate ourselves, as women, from stereotypes.
They also dive into Natasha’s upcoming book, Before the Light Fades, a moving memoir about losing her mother to suicide as well as honouring the legacy of a family whose members struggled bravely against some of the worst crises of the twentieth century.
On the nightstand – books that are currently on your bedside table
Sigrid Nunez, The Vulnerables and Natalia Ginzburg,The Little Virtues
On your mind – a recent article, podcast, film, series or song
I’m currently getting involved with local rewilding schemes and the podcast ‘The Green Urbanist’ had a great episode recently on Urban Rewilding which helps to demystify the idea – it’s about getting our city spaces to be more friendly to wildlife and we should all be getting on board with this if we are anxious about the nature & climate emergency.
On the shelf – one book that made you think about feminism in a new way
So many! Bell Hooks was an eye opener for me in terms of reassessing my whiteness and how that affected my feminism, and challenging my assumptions and prejudices. I’m currently re-reading Silvia Federici and think her insights into anti-capitalist feminism need to be taken on board right now.
On the pedestal – tell us about one person (woman or non-binary) you admire
I have to say my mother, and hope my book explains why . . .
Special 50th Anniversary question – what one Virago book would you pass on? (Your Golden Apple).
I am a huge admirer and also lucky to be a friend of the novelist Linda Grant, whose recent novel The Story of the Forest is a great culmination of a lifetime writing about women, Jewishness, migration. I’m recommending it to everyone.
Tune in next time for more conversation about books, feminism and culture.
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