Today on Ujima – Crime & Education

The first half hour of today’s show was given over to a local writer whose debut novel has been released today to much fanfare. Someone Else’s Skin by Sarah Hilary is widely tipped to be one of the hottest properties in UK crime fiction this year. I’m not surprised. It is a very powerful book, and of particular interest to Women’s Outlook as a major theme of the book is violence against women. My thanks to Sian Norris for reminding me about the Counting Dead Women project so I could bring to light the dreadful statistics of murders of women by their husbands/boyfriends/families in the UK.

For those of you saying, “I don’t do crime novels”, I note that an awful lot of SF&F is actually crime fiction of one sort or another. Also Sarah’s book, while definitely a police procedural, is not a mystery. As I say in the interview, it has definite similarities to a horror novel. It sure scared me anyway.

Sarah is having a launch party at Foyles on Friday. I’ll be there, as will Nikesh Shukla, Tania Herschman and doubtless a whole load of other Bristol literary folks.

The second half hour is all about free schools and academies, and the creeping privatization of the British education system. My guest was Christine Townsend, a well known local activist. My producer, Paulette, who is an ex-teacher herself, also joined us. Half an hour wasn’t nearly long enough. I’m sure we’ll have Christine back again soon.

You can listen to the first hour of the show here.

For the third half hour I handed control over to Judeline for the “Lighter Look At Life” segment and for “Woman of the Week”, who this week was our new intern, Ingrid Hoxha. Her family emigrated here from Albania when she was young. Amongst other things, we allow Ingrid to make it clear that she is not related to That Man.

Finally I took the reins again for a brief round-up of LGBT History Month. I got to ask some of the team what they had learned during February, and Paulette made me blush.

You can listen to the second hour of the show here.

As with the rest of the month, the music has been all LGBT-related. This week I played Tracy Chapman, Soft Cell, Goldman (feat. Smiler), Queen Latifah, Dusty Springfield, Lucy Ray and Bronski Beat. The final song is one that is very important to me. I was delighted to be able to thank Lou Reed live on the radio. I’m sure he’s listening, somewhere.