Bread and Roses award for radical publishing releases inaugural shortlist that takes in everything from the history of debt to the demonisation of the working classes
The UK's first book award celebrating radical, leftwing writing has been launched, with a tweet-by-tweet history of the Egyptian revolution and Owen Jones's exploration of the demonisation of the working classes,Chavs, competing for the inaugural prize.
The Bread and Roses award for radical publishing – named after the slogan chanted in 1912 by striking textile workers in Massachusetts, who struck for "bread, and for roses too" – is looking for books "informed by socialist, anarchist, environmental, feminist and anti-racist concerns", which also "inspire, support or report on political and/or personal change". Run by the newly-formed Alliance of Radical Booksellers, the prize has no corporate sponsorship and believes it is the UK's only literary award with explicitly leftwing entry criteria.
"Radical publishing is going through a renaissance, making the establishment of the Bread and Roses award timely," said trustee Ross Bradshaw from Five Leaves Publishing, a literary and radical press. His fellow trustee Nik Gorecki, of Housmans Bookshop, added that "the central involvement of radical bookshops in the establishment and running of the Bread and Roses award also really sets it apart from other book prizes".
Judges Michael Rosen, the poet and children's author, lecturer and feminist writer Nina Power and Writing on the Wall festival director Madeline Heneghan have chosen a shortlist of seven titles to compete for the inaugural Bread and Roses prize, which is worth £1,000.
Tim Gee's Counterpower looks at struggles from the suffrage movement to the Arab spring, David Graeber's Debt: The First 5,000 Years analyses the history of debt and Tweets from Tahrir, edited by Nadia Idle and Alex Nunns, collects the story of the Egyptian uprising through the tweets of those who rose. Jones's Chavs, Andy Merrifield's Magical Marxism, Laurie Penny's collection of her writing Penny Red and Nicholas Shaxson's exposé of tax havens Treasure Islands complete the lineup.
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