21 Revolutions: Five Reasons We’re Excited

12th Mar 2014

21 Revolutions: Five Reasons We're Excited
Glasgow Women’s Library is a well loved institution whose influence extends far beyond the city’s boundaries. For Books' Sake visited for the launch of their 21 Revolutions project, which has seen the place go from being a home to books to publishing them. Here's five reasons we're psyched about the project.

The 21 Riot Writer Grrrls who made the book
Back in 2012, GWL celebrated her 21st anniversary by embarking on an ambitious project.

21 women writers and 21 women artists, with connections to Scotland, were invited to explore the Library’s Collection. These discoveries would provide the roots for new pieces of work, providing the fodder for the 21 Revolutions publication.

On International Women’s Day 2014, literature fans of all ages and genders packed out the Library’s new home in the East End of Glasgow, to celebrate the arrival of this hotly anticipated book. They were joined by four writers who took part in the project: Kirsty Logan, Muriel Gray, Zoe Strachan and Louise Welsh.

Hell for Leather Girl Kirsty Logan
First to take the stage was Kirsty Logan, a For Books’ Sake favourite. She took a risk on her commission and combined disciplines from the art and writing world to showcase an innovative form of storytelling. A serendipitous mix of clippings from 1950s women’s magazines, alongside butch boxing girls showcased on a Lungleg LP cover, sparked inspiration for a story about a fighter girl called Liberty. This prize fighter has won a place in our hearts.

Marriage Guidance Turned on Its Head
Muriel Gray
has a well established career that spans over three decades and was an obvious choice for the 21 Revolutions project. Her inspiration came from a pamphlet issued by the National Marriage Guidance Council, in the 1950s, entitled Sex in Marriage. Instead of scoffing at some of the out dated advice (slipper stereotypes ahoy!), Gray mused about the intended altruistic intentions behind such advice.

She breathed new life into simple ideas such as being kind to one another – even if that means mixing your partner a drink on their arrival home from work. Make ours a gin and tonic.

Snogging to Springfield
Louise Welsh
and Zoe Strachan were the final set of writers to read their work. The pair collaborated on a piece of writing, again taking inspiration from a National Marriage Council pamphlet. Girls Questions Answered was a pamphlet that intended to answer the questions that some girls ask.

Strachan became the questioning voice of the piece, whilst Welsh unravelled the story of Olive and Susan: two girls growing up in the 1970s, practising kissing to a backing soundtrack of Donny Osmond and Dusty Springfield.

The Revolution has just begun
GWL is leading the way in celebrating the achievements of Scottish women writers, and we’re already looking forward to the next body of work to come from these women who recognise the love of the written word. The future of Scottish is not blue; rather neon pink with a hint of bold yellow.

21 Revolutions is now available to purchase online, directly from Glasgow Women’s Library.

Image copyright Glasgow Women’s Library