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Inga Muscio’s latest book blends anecdotes, history and theory to examine where violence originates from and how to find space for love in a vicious world. The result is in turns naïve, stirring and provocative, says Katherine Wootton

rosecover.jpgThe recent coverage of the VIDA report on the under-representation of women in literary magazines reminded me of something Inga Muscio urged in her book Cunt: A Declaration of Independence: support women artists by buying their books and records. Borrow men’s work from the library, or buy them second hand, but vote with your wallet when it comes to women. It’s a way of trying to level the playing field – to create and/or support a market that becomes too big for editors, publishers and recording companies to ignore.

In her latest book Rose: Love in Violent Times, Muscio continues her call for positive action, this time addressing how violence informs our everyday lives and how to resist becoming part of a damaging cycle of passive violence, supporting physical violence, finding space for love not just in spite of the problems presented by culture and society, but as an active response to them.

With her usual casual and confessional tone, Muscio directly addresses the reader, blending personal anecdote with lists, history and informal Marxist and feminist theory, to find where violence comes from, how it affects us, and what thoughts and actions can protect the individual and allow them to work towards a less vicious world.

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