45 min

Lyra McKee's book 'Angels With Blue Faces' Woman's Hour

    • News

It’s been nearly four months since the young journalist and writer, Lyra McKee, was shot in Londonderry; she had been watching rioting in the Creggan area of the city. She had just written a book called 'Angels With Blue Faces' and a week before she died, had approved the cover for it. Lyra didn’t get to see it published, but this afternoon it will officially be launched in The Linen Hall Library in Belfast, where she did most of her research. Her sister Nichola speaks to us from Belfast.

A new survey of older women readers by Gransnet (with publisher HarperCollins) has revealed how they really feel about their portrayal in fiction. Just over half of women over 40 say their age group is portrayed in clichéd roles, and 47 per cent say there’s not enough books about middle-aged or older women. Yet women over 45 buy more fiction than any others, and 84 per cent say they read every day, or almost every day. So how are older women portrayed in fiction? Are we only reading about very stereotypical characters? Are older women being offered the books and characters they really want to read? Jenni is joined by Cari Rosen - the editor of Gransnet, who also runs their bookclub – and by Caroline Lodge who writes a blog about older women in fiction.

Yesterday we heard from Judith, a survivor of domestic abuse in a small community in the Highlands. Scottish Women's Aid has launched a pilot scheme called ASK ME to help women like her. The scheme in Scotland builds on the success of Women’s Aid pilots and projects in England and Wales. Kathleen Garragher joined trainers Catherine Russell and Cathie Way out on the road in the Scottish Highlands. They do sessions with members of the community who train as ambassadors listening to women and signposting them to sources of support and information. We also hear from a survivor of domestic abuse we are calling Kelly.

Did you know that the first woman governor of a prison in Britain lived within its walls and took her 12 children on her rounds? Her name was Emma Martin and she ran Brixton Prison in South London, in the 1800s. As it celebrates its 200th anniversary we look back at its beginnings as the first British prison just for women and its life now as a resettlement prison for male offenders. We hear from Chris Impey, author of a history of HMP Brixton and to the current Deputy Governor Louise Ysart.


Presenter: Jenni Murray
Producer: Kirsty Starkey

Interviewed Guest: Nichola Corner
Interviewed Guest: Cari Rosen
Interviewed Guest: Caroline Lodge
Interviewed Guest: Catherine Russell
Interviewed Guest: Cathie Way
Reporter: Kathleen Carragher
Interviewed Guest: Louise Ysart
Interviewed Guest: Chris Impey

It’s been nearly four months since the young journalist and writer, Lyra McKee, was shot in Londonderry; she had been watching rioting in the Creggan area of the city. She had just written a book called 'Angels With Blue Faces' and a week before she died, had approved the cover for it. Lyra didn’t get to see it published, but this afternoon it will officially be launched in The Linen Hall Library in Belfast, where she did most of her research. Her sister Nichola speaks to us from Belfast.

A new survey of older women readers by Gransnet (with publisher HarperCollins) has revealed how they really feel about their portrayal in fiction. Just over half of women over 40 say their age group is portrayed in clichéd roles, and 47 per cent say there’s not enough books about middle-aged or older women. Yet women over 45 buy more fiction than any others, and 84 per cent say they read every day, or almost every day. So how are older women portrayed in fiction? Are we only reading about very stereotypical characters? Are older women being offered the books and characters they really want to read? Jenni is joined by Cari Rosen - the editor of Gransnet, who also runs their bookclub – and by Caroline Lodge who writes a blog about older women in fiction.

Yesterday we heard from Judith, a survivor of domestic abuse in a small community in the Highlands. Scottish Women's Aid has launched a pilot scheme called ASK ME to help women like her. The scheme in Scotland builds on the success of Women’s Aid pilots and projects in England and Wales. Kathleen Garragher joined trainers Catherine Russell and Cathie Way out on the road in the Scottish Highlands. They do sessions with members of the community who train as ambassadors listening to women and signposting them to sources of support and information. We also hear from a survivor of domestic abuse we are calling Kelly.

Did you know that the first woman governor of a prison in Britain lived within its walls and took her 12 children on her rounds? Her name was Emma Martin and she ran Brixton Prison in South London, in the 1800s. As it celebrates its 200th anniversary we look back at its beginnings as the first British prison just for women and its life now as a resettlement prison for male offenders. We hear from Chris Impey, author of a history of HMP Brixton and to the current Deputy Governor Louise Ysart.


Presenter: Jenni Murray
Producer: Kirsty Starkey

Interviewed Guest: Nichola Corner
Interviewed Guest: Cari Rosen
Interviewed Guest: Caroline Lodge
Interviewed Guest: Catherine Russell
Interviewed Guest: Cathie Way
Reporter: Kathleen Carragher
Interviewed Guest: Louise Ysart
Interviewed Guest: Chris Impey

45 min

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