Socialist Worker

Reviews in brief

Issue No. 2388

Longbourn by Jo Baker

Out now in paperback, £7.99, Black Swan books

This re-telling of Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice from the point of view of the servants is a genuine pleasure.

It tracks the plot of the original through the eyes of Sarah the housemaid.

The book offers wry insights into the characters Austen fans are so familiar with. And it builds on Edward Said’s critque of another Austen novel, Mansfield Park. This is a world where fortunes are built on the slave trade and men subjected to the brutality of army life.

Sarah is a compelling character, resisting the drudgery of domestic life and seeking a happier future.

Jane Bassett

Transgender Dysphoria Blues by Against Me!

Total Treble records

The latest album from American punk rock band Against Me! is their first since lead singer and songwriter Laura Jane Grace came out as a transsexual woman in May 2012. 

The pain of living with gender dysphoria and the public fallout over her adoption of a new identity dominate this album. 

The band has managed to marry these intimate and personal lyrical themes with their raucous and anthemic sound.

The result is a unique collection of confessional, exciting and powerful punk rock songs.

Callum McCormick

Wapping exhibition

This exhibition of archive photos and video was first created for the 25th anniversary of the pivotal 1986 Wapping dispute.

It is now relaunched online with additional new material.

Media tycoon Rupert Murdoch fought for a year to smash the print unions—with the help of the Met police.

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Article information

Tue 28 Jan 2014, 18:48 GMT
Issue No. 2388
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