Edinburgh's Radical Bookshop

The Bread & Roses Award 2023 Shortlist/Longlist


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We’re tremendously delighted to be able to announce the 2023 Bread and Roses Award shortlist and longlist!

The Bread & Roses Award, presented by the Alliance of Radical Booksellers with admin support here at Lighthouse, is a book award dedicated to lifting up and celebrating radical left-wing political non-fiction.

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 are thrilled to present a shortlist of 5 titles and a longlist of 8.

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

I Heard What You Said - Jeffrey Boakye - Picador/Pan Macmillan

Abolition Revolution - Aviah Sarah Day and Shanice Octavia McBean - Pluto Press

Poor Little Sick Girls - Ione Gamble - Dialogue Books

This Arab is Queer - ed. Elias Jahshan - Saqi Books

Uncommon Wealth - Kojo Koram - John Murray Press

Our Judges also wish to congratulate writers whose books made it to the longlist. These books provide in-depth and comprehensive research to inspire future environmental policies and a thorough examination of the racial codes that still segregate our society:

Regenesis - George Monbiot - Penguin Books

The Racial Code - Nicola Rollock - Penguin Books

The Value of a Whale - Adrienne Buller - Manchester University Press

Mairi Oliver, Chair of the judges, said:

“It's thrilling and deeply gratifying to see in this year's B&R shortlist five books that tackle some of the most pressing concerns of the day with original insight and creativity and a genuine desire to connect readers with new and radical possibilities and understanding.

We have Gamble on disability & feminism, McBean and Day on transformative justice, Boakye on education, Koram on the economic legacies of empire, and 18 queer Arab voices making the personal political - each book imbued with a real sense of history, clear eyed and compelling as they illustrate the systems of oppression that have built this present moment and shaped their concerns as writers.

As we enter an election year, as cynical Israeli pinkwashing is wielded against Palestinian solidarity, as covid-19 continues to cripple vulnerable populations, these books are more relevant by the day, perfect examples of how radical writing expands our capacity as readers to understand the challenges we're up against, and rise to them.”

The winner will be announced in a virtual ceremony on the 27th of February and be awarded a £500 prize.

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.

The Bread and Roses Award 2024 is now open for submissions. Submissions are invited of non-fiction books published in 2023 which are informed by socialist, anarchist, environmental, feminist and anti-racist concerns, and which inspire, support or report on political and/or personal change. The deadline for submitting books is 29th February 2024, and you can find out more about criteria and where to send print books on our submissions page.

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