Joan Smith is a novelist, columnist and campaigner for human rights. She is the author of the feminist classic Misogynies, the Loretta Lawson series of crime novels and What Will Survive, a thriller set in Westminster and Lebanon. Her non-fiction includes books on food, secular morality and the monarchy (Down With The Royals, 2015). Her journalism has appeared in the Guardian, New York Times, Daily Telegraph, The Times, Independent, Sunday Times and the Labour weekly Tribune.
Since 2013 she has been Co-chair of the Mayor of London’s Violence Against Women and Girls Board, which draws up the Mayor’s strategy to reduce sexual and domestic violence for the whole of London. She is a former Chair of the English PEN Writers in Prison Committee, supporting imprisoned writers all over the world, and has advised the FCO on freedom of expression.
She is currently on the board of the Authors’ Licensing and Collecting Society, reflecting a longstanding interest in copyright. She is also a patron of Humanists UK and an honorary associate of the National Secular Society. She lives in London.
July 1997: Lebanon makes a rare appearance in the British headlines when an English woman dies in a landmine accident near the town of Nebatiyeh. The dead woman is a minor celebrity, a model with an Egyptian mother visiting the Middle East for the first time. Reporters descend on her Somerset home, linking her death with Princess Diana’s high-profile campaign for a ban on landmines. When a young feature writer is sent to Beirut to write a story about Aisha’s death, she finds a city only just recovering from civil war and she suspects that Aisha was another one of its victim.
PUBLISHER: Arcadia Books
PUBLICATION DATE: June 2008
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This book suggests the connections that exist between unlikely people and events to reveal the hidden passion which distorts human relations – woman-hating. Drawing on material from films, novels, trial reports and the royal family, the author searches for misogyny, the secret weapon of the sex war. Joan Smith looks at such connections as “what judges have in common with the Yorkshire Ripper?”, “American air force pilots and a group of Nazi thugs?”, “Plato and a fascist author from Japan?” And “why Marilyn Monroe, Mrs Thatcher and Samantha Fox are bad news for women?”