Virago has acquired pop culture critic and author Amy Raphael’s book, A Seat at the Table, sharing the experiences of women “on the frontline of music” while seeking to address gender imbalance at all levels of the industry.
Following 20 years on from Raphael’s book, Never Mind the Bollocks: Women Rewrite Rock, A Seat at the Table will publish in June 2019. Editorial director Ailah Ahmed acquired world rights from Becky Thomas at Johnson & Alcock.
The book is the product of Raphael’s interviews with 17 women, including Christine and the Queens, Ibeyi, Maggie Rogers, Kate Tempest, Mitski and Alison Moyet, each of whom talks about their personal experiences of the rapidly-changing music industry. Encompassing feminism, intersectionality, queer identity, image and #metoo, the interviews delve into the women’s experiences of everyday sexism, social media trolling and even rape and death threats.
Raphael commented: “Virago asked me over the years to update Never Mind the Bollocks, but I resisted because I kept hoping that it would become easier for women to be involved in music at every level. I was wrong. There might be more women than ever making great music – there could easily have been fifty or one hundred brilliant women in A Seat at the Table – but it’s as complicated for them now as it was for women in the mid-90s. Social media has given women their own voices, but it has also allowed trolls to raise their ugly, anonymous heads. And, of course, the political landscape, in America in particular, has become more brutal for women. Now, more than ever, women have to speak up and the world has to listen.”
Other books Raphael has worked on include Danny Boyle: Creating Wonder and Mike Leigh on Mike Leigh. She also worked with Steve Coogan and Sir David Hare on their autobiographies, and was features editor of The Face and Elle and editor-at-large of Esquire.