by Catherine Riley - £19.00 Berghahn Books (2018)
paperback ISBN 13: 9781785338557 | ISBN 10: 1785338552
The 1970s witnessed a renaissance in women’s print culture, as feminist presses and bookshops sprang up in the wake of the second-wave women’s movement. At four decades’ remove from that heady era, however, the landscape looks dramatically different, with only one press from the period still active in contemporary publishing: Virago.
This engaging history explains how, from modest beginnings, Virago managed to weather epochal transformations in gender politics, literary culture, and the book publishing business. Drawing on original interviews with many of the press's principal figures, it gives a compelling account of Virago’s place in recent women's history while also reflecting on the fraught relationship between activism and commerce.
"Riley's book does a terrific job of laying out the context in which Virago first appeared and its transformations over time. Not only does it evocatively capture a historical moment, but it also serves as an important case study in business history, provides a critical intellectual history of feminism, and even alters our understanding of the book itself."
(Jennifer Scanlon, Bowdoin College)
(Price & availability last checked: May 2018)
In booklists: Work and Worker's Lives, Books About Bookshops, Booksellers and Publishers, Feminism, Books About Books!, In categories: Work & Workers Rights, Humour, Gifts & Seasonal, Poetry & Writing, Feminism & Women, Politics & Philosophy,