Pragya Agarwal & Shon Faye: Reframing the Personal and Political

In what is ostensibly an era of choice, the most personal decisions we make – about our bodies and how we live our lives – continue to be subject to analysis, discussion and frequently unwelcome debate. We are under scrutiny and surrounded by assumptions on all sides: from family and friends to the media and strangers on the internet. Pragya Agarwal and Shon Faye have both fought this notion, through their writing and in their work campaigning for equality. In The Transgender Issue: An Argument for Justice, Faye reclaims the idea that trans rights are an ‘issue’ to be hotly debated as part of Britain’s raging culture wars and shines a light on the implications of transphobia across society. Agarwal’s (M)otherhood argues that we must question our obsession with motherhood and fertility and reframe our ways of thinking, to factor in education, race, economic status and socio-cultural expectations. Both books draw significantly on the writers’ personal experiences, and in this fascinating and frank dialogue, they come together to help us change the public narrative on these most personal of matters. Chaired by writer, poet and performer Harry Josephine Giles.

This event was filmed live at the 2021 Edinburgh International Book Festival. Some of the participants appeared live on stage in the venue and some took part remotely.

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