In Rebel Writers, Celia Brayfield tells the story of a pioneering group of young women writers – Shelagh Delaney, Edna O’Brien, Lynne Reid Banks, Margaret Forster, Virginia Ironside, Charlotte Bingham and Nell Dunn – who challenged the status quo and changed women’s lives forever. In London in 1958 a play by a 19-year-old redefined women’s writing in Britain. The play was A Taste of Honey and the author, Shelagh Delaney, was the first of a succession of very young women who wrote about their lives with an honesty that dazzled the world. They rebelled against sexism, inequality and prejudice and in doing so rejected masculine definitions of what writing and a writer should be. After Delaney came Edna O’Brien, Lynne Reid Banks, Virginia Ironside, Charlotte Bingham, Margaret Forster and Nell Dunn, each challenging traditional concepts of womanhood in novels, films, television, essays and journalism.
They were far arguably more influential than their male counterparts, the Angry Young Men; they changed people’s minds about gender, sexuality, race and class, and laid the foundations for a second-wave of feminism. Rebel Writers is a groundbreaking and timely new book when women across the world are breaking down barriers and carrying on the struggle for equality and recognition.