A bold and accessible argument for the moral and political value of literature in rightless times. The obvious humanity of books would seem to make literature and human rights natural allies. But what is the real connection between literature and human rights? In this short polemical book, Lyndsey Stonebridge shows how the history of human rights owes much to the creative imagining of writers. Yet, she argues, it is not enough to claim that literature is the empathetic wing of the human rights movement. At a time when human rights are so blatantly under attack, the writers we need how are the political truthtellers, the bold callers out of easy sympathy and comfortable platitudes.
About the Author
Lyndsey Stonebridge, Professor of Humanities and Human Rights, University of Birmingham Lyndsey Stonebridge is Interdisciplinary Professor of Humanities and Human Rights at the University of Birmingham. Her recent books include: Placeless People: Rights, Writing, and Refugees (OUP, 2018), winner of the Modernist Studies Association Best Book Prize, 2019, and The Judicial Imagination: Writing after Nuremberg (Edinburgh University Press, 2011), winner of the British Academy Rose Mary Crawshay Prize, 2014. Her other books include The Destructive Element (1998), Reading Melanie Klein (with J. Phillip, 1998), The Writing of Anxiety (2007), and British Fiction after Modernism (with M. MacKay, 2007). She is currently collaborating on a creative and interdisciplinary project with refugees and host communities in Lebanon, Jordan, and Turkey, Refugee Hosts. A regular broadcaster and media commentator, she has written for The New Statesman, Prospect, and The New Humanist.