Laurie Penny’s new book brings together a diverse collection of her writing from online content to newspaper columns. Sarah Graham reviews the works of one of the most prominent voices of the new left as she provides analysis, interviews and first-hand accounts of everything from the UK student protests to vajazzling
Penny Red: Notes from the New Age of Dissent is a collection of blogs and columns written by one of the most engaging young journalists in the UK. Like many young feminists, I’ve long been a fan of Laurie Penny’s writing, discovering her blog, Penny Red, two years ago when I was first learning about feminism. I owe much of my own passion and feminist rage to the inspiration provided by that ever-insightful blog, which was shortlisted for the Orwell Prize in 2010.
In the last year, Penny has established a name for herself as an ardent journalist of the disaffected youth, particularly through her regular blog for the New Statesman and her engagement with both the student protests and the UK Uncut actions. Her writing fiercely mixes social justice and feminism with pop culture and politics, on topics from tuition fees to vajazzling. One of the most striking features of Penny’s style is her impressive ability to articulate the anger that pervades so much of her writing: she harnesses the language of her rage in a way that is vivid, engaging and almost poetic.