Reviews

  • Whoever said feminists lack a sense of humour has not read enough Lewis... A funny, sparky, wide-ranging account... Her book isn’t at all a conventional history. It’s a collection of powerful personal essays on the gnarly issues that women continue to face... I read Difficult Women with gratitude. It’s an authoritative benchmark of modern feminism, written by someone on top of her game... Hooray for a great book by a clever, clear-sighted, straight-talking, difficult young woman.

    Melanie Reid, The Times
  • Difficult Women was a joy to read... I learned so many delicious facts about women whom I thought I knew. In fact, reading Difficult Women felt like sitting down with a friend and gossiping about other women in our circle... It has some howl-out-loud funny moments... Helen Lewis does more than just tell their stories – she allows them to be complicated, something that women are so rarely permitted to be.

    Jess Phillips, New Statesman
  • Difficult Women is smart, thoughtful and rich in detail... Lewis proves an excellent storyteller who seamlessly blends scholarly inquiry and journalistic investigation with autobiographical titbits and flashes of caustic wit (her footnotes are a hoot).

    Fiona Sturges, Guardian
  • A sparkling history of feminism in 11 fights… The book is full of Lewis’ short, sharp political observations…almost always as funny as they are informative… It proves her point; that we all have something to learn from each other, if we can open our minds to the true, complicated nature of humanity.

    Nell Frizzell, Daily Telegraph
  • Difficult Women is full of vivid detail, jam-packed with research and fizzing with provocation.

    Christina Patterson, Sunday Times
  • Inspiriting and energetic…searching, and bracing...clever and compelling... This is a capacious book... I liked this roominess: it speaks of open-mindedness and warmth. But what I loved most of all is her clear respect for those who went before us.

    Rachel Cooke, Observer
  • Difficult Women is a well-researched, lively overview of the history of modern feminism... An important resource on the ongoing fight for equal rights.

    Mia Levitin, Spectator
  • Enthralling... Witty, thoroughly researched and intelligently argued, Lewis's book turns received thinking on feminism on its head: history, like women, is always more interesting when it's difficult.

    Jane Anderson, Radio Times
  • This sensible, forthright personal history of the women who fought for the vote, for equal pay, for women to have control over their bodies, is a breath of fresh air in a feminist climate too often bogged down in petty spats over ideas of privilege and virtue signalling... Lewis’s trenchant, witty voice steers the reader to focus on the details that matter.

    Claire Allfree, Metro
  • This is the antidote to saccharine you-go-girl fluff. Effortlessly erudite and funny, Helen Lewis tackles the great unacknowledged truth of feminist history: no one ever changed the world by being nice. A landmark in modern feminist scholarship, it manages to be important, irreverent and a joy to read.

    Caroline Criado Perez

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