Edinburgh's Radical Bookshop

Announcing the Bread & Roses Award 2023 Winner


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The Bread and Roses Award for Radical Publishing 2023 goes to Abolition Revolution by Aviah Sarah Day and Shanice Octavia McBean.

Abolition Revolution is a guide to abolitionist politics in Britain, drawing out rich histories of resistance from rebellion in the colonies to grassroots responses to carceral systems today. The authors argue that abolition is key to reconceptualising revolution for our times - linking it with materialist feminisms, anti-capitalist class struggle, internationalist solidarity and anti-colonialism.” (Pluto Press)

43 books were submitted to the Award in 2023, from publishing giants like Penguin and Hachette, to smaller independents like Pluto, Saqi Books and Autonomedia. Our panel of judges had the difficult task of selecting a winner from a very strong shortlist of five books, and the winner was announced in a virtual ceremony on 27th February, and will be awarded a £500 prize.

Mairi Oliver, chair of judges, said:

“Abolition Revolution subverts both genre and conventional thinking on prisons and the abilities of people in community to care for one another. While it is a book of political thought, Day and McBean have overturned the genre by writing an original blend of well-researched arguments, manifesto-like demands for change and personal stories and interviews. It is a refreshingly brave book, clear in its objectives and determination  to bring different communities of people and activists together, and to galvanise the reader to create change, not as one person, but as part of a collective.”

The ceremony recording can be viewed here on Lighthouse Bookshop’s website.

Examining disability rights, queer rights, legacies of empire, race and education, and the need to radically change our criminal justice system, the shortlisted books toed the line between intimate personal reflections and confident political analysis seeking to inspire change:

The Bread & Roses Award, presented by the Alliance of Radical Booksellers, is a book award dedicated to lifting up and celebrating radical left-wing political non-fiction. This feels particularly necessary at this concerning time of growing right-wing action and politics in the UK and worldwide.

The Bread & Roses Award was established by Housmans in 2012, and has since been run in collaboration with Five Leaves Bookshop and then Lighthouse - Edinburgh’s Radical Bookshop. Past winners of the Award include Ellen Clifford, Johny Pitts, Reni Eddo-Lodge and, in its very first year, David Graeber.

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