Salford award-winning academic to publish ‘extremely timely’ book on manifesto for childfree women

Categories: School of Arts, Media and Creative Technology

A University of Salford academic will publish her latest book next Spring which has been described as ‘extremely timely.’

Dr Caroline Magennis, author of Harpy.

Established author Dr Caroline Magennis, a Reader in Twentieth and Twenty-First Century Literature at the University of Salford, will publish her first non-fiction novel, Harpy: A Manifesto for Childfree Women in 2024 via Icon Books.

The book is described as ‘a meditation on the choice of not having children, and critique of the structures that condemn women who make an active choice not to be parents. It explores stereotypes and cultural representations which serve to promote the idea that every woman should want to be a mother.’

Dr Magennis writes about the privileges of this choice and questions the structures that condemn women who make an active choice not to be parents.

The academic is a former joint-winner of The British Association for Contemporary Literary Studies Monograph Prize for her book Northern Irish Writing After the Troubles and has also been previously published by The Guardian, The Irish Times and The Independent as well as appearing on broadcast for BBC and RTÉ.

Caroline said: “It's been a joy to work with the team at Icon on a book that is very personal. I want it to offer hopeful alternatives to the divisive language that we often see around mothers, the involuntarily childless and the childfree by choice.

“While more and more women make this decision for themselves, reproductive rights are under threat across the globe - this book seeks to celebrate the women who have blazed a trail for us while being on guard never to take our freedoms for granted.”

Connor Stait, Senior Commissioning Editor for Icon Books said: “Harpy is an extremely timely and incisive book, arriving at the perfect moment. Caroline explores why motherhood isn’t right for every woman with real precision and insight, and her writing is illuminating and thought provoking. Icon are immensely proud to be working on this title.”

This research was possible thanks to a sabbatical awarded by the School of Arts, Media and Creative Technology.

For all press office enquiries please email communications@salford.ac.uk.