Tomorrow Perhaps the Future
From a prize-winning academic in our age of political divisions, this portrait of the women outsiders who took part in Spanish Civil War asks questions of solidarity and resistance
In the 1930s, women and men from across Britain, Europe and America made their way to Spain to be part of what they identified as a historic fight for freedom from fascism. Tomorrow Perhaps the Future follows a handful of extraordinary outsiders who were determined to live out their lives with courage and conviction.
Sarah Watling weaves together the journeys of the young American journalist Martha Gellhorn and the seasoned radical Josephine Herbst; the British writers and partners Sylvia Townsend Warner and Valentine Ackland; the aristocratic rebel Jessica Mitford and the maverick poet Nancy Cunard, drawing in their responses to the Spanish Civil War in both literature and life. She considers the wary position of Virginia Woolf, trying and failing to keep the conflict out of her family, and searches out the stories of African American nurse Salaria Kea, Jewish photographer Gerda Taro and others, tracing their decisions to face up to history.
A year into the struggle, Nancy Cunard took an urgent poll of contemporary writers asking the question straight: which side are you on? Tomorrow Perhaps the Future explores how we respond to the need to declare a side, and how we know when that moment – the moment to step forward – has arrived.
‘Now, as certainly never before, we are determined or compelled to take sides’ Nancy Cunard
Fascinating and compellingly readable. -- Paul Preston History that hums with the urgency of now -- Joanna Scutts A brilliant and much-needed tribute to the women who used their art to fight fascism... Extraordinary and captivating. -- Heather Clark, author of Red Comet Provocative, compelling narratives of women on the front lines of fighting fascism. A powerful, moving cautionary tale for today. -- Helen Zia, author of The Last Boat Out of Shanghai Brings the Spanish Civil War to freshly vivid life. She allows us to understand the urgency and confusion of these women, who saw the war as the turning point of their age. She makes us feel their urgency as our own. -- Judith Mackrell, author of Flappers
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