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​A thriller without rape or women butchered?

“Feeling that violence against women in fiction has reached a ridiculous high, the Staunch Book Prize is inviting thriller authors to keep us on the edge of our seats without resorting to the same old clichés, particularly female characters who are sexually assaulted (however ingeniously)”. We read this on the official website of this new English literary prize, which accepts for submission only thrillers in which “no woman is beaten, stalked, sexually exploited, raped or murdered”. On the panel of judges of the Staunch Book Prize, founded by Bridget Lawless, a writer and screenwriter, will also be the actress and writer Doon Mackichan, who made a documentary for the BBC on the increase in violence against women on television. The winning novel will be announced next 25 November, concurrently with the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women. “I’m certainly not alone”, Lawless writes, “in getting increasingly fed up and disgusted with fictional depictions of violence happening to women in books, films and television. It echoes, exaggerates, fetishizes and normalizes what happens to women in the real world”.

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St. Peter’s Square

Sept. 22, 2018

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