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The Red Word

by Sarah Henstra - £12.99  Tramp Press (2019)
paperback    ISBN 13: 9781999700874 | ISBN 10: 1999700872

The myths don’t have a clue what to do with women. They have nothing to say about us whatsoever. We need to build our own fucking mythology.
 
The battle of the sexes goes to college in this smart, thrilling debut by university English professor Sarah Henstra. University student Karen is swept up in back-to-school revelry and when she wakes up after a frat party lying on the lawn of Raghurst, a house of radical feminists, she gets a crash course in anti-frat activism on campus. GBC (‘Gang Bang Central’) is especially notorious, she learns, with several names featured on a list of date rapists compiled by female students.
 
Despite continuing to party at GBC and even dating one of the brothers, Karen is seduced by the intellectual stimulation and indomitable spirit of the Raghurst women. As Karen finds herself caught between two increasingly polarized camps, her feminist housemates believe they have hit on the perfect way to expose and bring down the fraternity as a symbol of rape culture… but the war between the houses will exact a terrible price.
 
The Red Word offers a lyrical yet eyes-wide-open account of the epic clash between fraternities’ time-honoured ‘right to party’ and young women’s demands for sexual safety and respect. With strains of The Marriage Plot and reminiscent of the work of Zadie Smith, Donna Tartt and Tom Wolfe, The Red Word arrives on the wings of furies.

(Price & availability last checked: July 2019)

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In booklists: Best New Fiction, Writers by Surname - H, Feminist Fiction, World Fiction - USA,
In categories: Fiction, Feminism & Women, World - North America,

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