SIM Ep 438 Chops 185: Carmen Callil on those times and these times

The indomitable Carmen Callil – mother of Virago Press, writer, publisher, fierce feminist, joyful crone, enraged person and self-proclaimed difficult woman – is one hell of a role model. And one hell of a writer. Callil's latest book, Oh Happy Day: Those Times And These Times, brims with eloquent rage as she delves into her ancestors’ lives to tell a gripping story of Empire and the poverty and injustice of 19th Century England, and how that led to her family's migration to Australia. It’s brimming with eloquent rage and truly wonderful. And as the title suggests – and as Carmen and Mickey discuss – those times aren’t so different from these times for a lot of people living in poverty in modern Britain. 

They also talk Virago, Angela Carter, rage, Thatcher, progress or its lack, going grey, and new books for your shelves. 

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