The Staunch Book Prize is the first of a kind award that embraces the #metoo spirit
Six works have been nominated, including Anna Porter’s The Appraisal, If I Die Tonight by A L Gaylin, East of Hounslow by Khurrum Rahman, On the Java Ridge by Jock Serong, The Kennedy Moment by Peter Adamson, and Cops and Queens by Joyce Thompson.
Founder of the prize, Bridget Lawless, started it as a result of her frustration with the high number of books, films and TV programmes being awarded for their plots made up of gruesome scenes of women being beaten up, sexually assaulted and stalked.
Lawless argued that this practice normalises what happens every day in society. She is definitely not the only one to demand change. She strives to encourage a new wave of writers who can pen down engrossing stories, without exploiting violence against women.
The founder could not stress enough, when interviewed by the Independent, that: “While real rape survivors struggle to be heard and counted, fictional rape victims take the stage – usually as two dimensional characters – in stories that celebrate the cunning (often, charming sexiness/astonishing brutality) of serial rapists and the dogged brilliance of detectives.
We wanted to show not only readers but producers, directors and actors that there are amazing, complex stories being written today by authors with truly fresh ideas, great imagination and brilliant plotting skill.”
The shortlisted titles will have a dedicated display at the Waterstones Piccadilly, as was revealed to the Voice of London.
Words: Federica Riondino | Subbing: Millie Richardson