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Women in Dark Times

Jacqueline Rose's new book begins with three remarkable women: revolutionary socialist Rosa Luxemburg; German-Jewish painter Charlotte Salomon, persecuted by family tragedy and Nazism; film icon and consummate performer Marilyn Monroe. Together these women have a shared story to tell, as they blaze a trail across some of the most dramatic events of the last century - revolution, totalitarianism, the American dream. Enraged by injustice, they are each in touch with what is most painful about being human, bound together by their willingness to bring the unspeakable to light. Taking the argument into the present are today's women, courageous individuals involved in some of the cruellest realities of our times. Grappling with the reality of honour killing - notably through the stories of Shafilea Ahmed, Fadime Sahindal and Heshu Yones - Rose argues that the work of feminism is far from done. In the final three chapters, she celebrates the work of three brilliant contemporary artists - Esther Shalev-Gerz, Yael Bartana and Therese Oulton - whose work grows out of an unflinching engagement with all that is darkest in the modern world. Women in Dark Times shows us how these visionary women offer a new template for feminism. Taking their stand against the iniquities of our times, they tread a path between public and private pain, confronting us with what we need most urgently, but also often, cannot bear to see.
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An exhilarating journey through the life, times and inner thoughts of some of the most creative women of the twentieth and twenty-first centuries by a leading feminist writer

About the Author

Jacqueline Rose is internationally acclaimed as a public intellectual for her writing on feminism, literature and psychoanalysis.She is Professor of English at Queen Mary, University of London. In the Autumn term of 2014 she takes up the Diane Middlebrook/Carl Djerassi Chair in Gender Studies at Cambridge. From January 2015, she will be Professor of the Humanities at the Institute of the Humanities, Birkbeck, University of London. Her many books include The Haunting of Sylvia Plath and On Not Being Able to Sleep, and a novel, Albertine. She is a regular contributor to the London Review of Books. She lives in London.


This is the book we have been waiting for - a clarion call for us all, men and women, to be bolder and brasher in our advocacy for change but also more willing to embrace our own contradictions * Helena Kennedy, QC * A surfeit of elegance and intelligence * Ali Smith, Observer Summer Reading * Jacqueline Rose's book Women in Dark Times is pretty amazing * Irvine Welsh * A rigorously argued and at times breathtaking book ... Many paragraphs contain a controlled explosion; her analysis of men's fear of and fascination with female sexuality, born from the boy's early proximity to the mother's body, is one of them ... The book closes with a clarion cry: "Women have been reasonable for far too long" ... Her reasoning, ironically, is as tight and sinuous as a constrictor knot. It is a time to be afraid of the dark * Frances Wilson, Daily Telegraph * Rose confronts dark times with dark and moving stories from the last century inspiring a new feminism for this one. By so doing she keeps alive the dreams of so many women from Rosa Luxemburg and Marilyn Monroe to young girls killed in the name of some perverted sense of "honour". Most likely a classic * Shami Chakrabarti, Director of Liberty * This is not an easy book but a lucid, deeply absorbing and strangely soothing one, in the way that a friend with boundless curiosity, unflinching in the face of difficult truths, always proves more comforting and interesting than the falsely cheerful, draw-up-a-list sort. Rose offers erudite, multiple readings of the lives and work of three very different sets of three women ... I am persuaded by Rose's argument that women remain best placed to tune in to the chronic insecurity and darkness of modern life * Melissa Benn, New Statesman * The portrait of Luxemburg is insightful, exhilarating and inspiring ... Her writing about Monroe is a deeply moving defence of a woman on whom the postwar United States projected its dreams and fears ... The chapter on honour killings is superb, both Rose's dissection of misogynistic attitudes to female sexuality and her exploration of how western society views the crime ... A book that constantly challenges the reader and forces her to engage with it. Rose's arguments are impossible to ignore * Irish Times * Formidable ... It is impossible not to listen carefully to what Professor Rose has to say in her thought-provoking, rigorously argued writing on feminism, literature and psychoanalysis. In Europe she is hailed as a public intellectual - she is also acknowledged internationally ... Rose is indubitably an intellectual of clout ... It is a breathtaking book and a challenging read - ambitious, scholarly and innovative, shedding dazzling light on Freud's "dark continent" of women * Herald * Rose's thesis is a measured and decisive stroke in contemporary feminist theory * Financial Times * Brings necessary depth and context to the debate ... The book provides a valuable record of the ideologies and achievements of women whom society would rather have kept silent, and there are some devastatingly sad passages * Independent * Women in Dark Times follows a long-established trajectory within her work, questioning assumptions and reframing debates from an explicitly feminist perspective ... Rose's text is intersectional in the best sense of the word, combining many approaches - including, but not limited to, concerns over gender, race, Jewish identity and politics. Linking all of these together is psychoanalysis, whose revelations allow for the demystifying and revisionist readings at the core of the book ... Demonstrates the value of scholarly reappraisals of cultural figureheads * Jewish Quarterly *

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