Please join us in giving a warm welcome to the bookshop for Tony Lothian Prize winner, Sarah Watling, this March. Sarah comes to enliven with her new multi-subject biography of the literary figures inspired and horrified by the brutality of the Spanish Civil War, 1936-39.
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 paths of the American journalists Martha Gellhorn and 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. For each woman, Spain became a defining episode of her life, where many of them found a freedom unthinkable at home.
A year into the struggle, Nancy Cunard took an urgent poll of contemporary writers asking the question straight: which side are you on? In our age of political divisions and war, _Tomorrow Perhaps the Future_ is a book that asks questions of solidarity, resistance and the arts, which 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.
Sarah Watling is the author of _Nobles Savages_, for which she was awarded the Tony Lothian Prize. She holds a degree in history from the University of Cambridge and a master's degree in historical research from the University of London.
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