Format: Paperback
Book type: Anthology
ISBN-13: 9781912697311
Published: 21 May 2020


RRP: £12.99

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Please note: this is the paperback edition.

In the wake of the social and political turmoil of Brexit and a climate crisis that continues to be ignored, it's easy to think these are uncharted waters for us, as a democracy. 

But Britain has seen political crises and far-right extremism before. In this timely collection of fiction and essays celebrating key moments of British protest, writers fight back with well-researched, historically accurate fiction. From Boudica to Blair Peach, from the Battle of Cable Street to the tragedy of Grenfell Tower, these stories demonstrate when people have stood up and resisted in the face of injustice. 

In our age of fake news and post-truth politics, Britons still know when to draw the line and say '¡No pasarán!'

Bidisha with Prof Richard Hingley on BOUDICA's RISING, 60 AD
SJ Bradley with Prof John Walter on the OXFORDSHIRE RISING, 1596
Martin Edwards with Prof Robert Poole on PETERLOO, 1819
Kamila Shamsie with Prof Malcolm Chase on the CATO STREET CONSPIRACY, 1820
Anna Lewis with Dr Richard C. Allen on MERTHYR RISING, 1831
Kim Squirrell with Dr Marcus Morris on the TOLPUDDLE MARTYRS, 1834 
Eley Williams with Rhian E. Jones on the REBECCA RIOTS, 1839
Lucy Caldwell with Dr Ben Griffin on CAROLINE NORTON, 1839
Uschi Gatward with Dave Steele on the GREAT CHARTIST MEETING, 1848
Jude Brown with Dr Mark O'Brien on the LIVERPOOL TRANSPORT STRIKE, 1911
Donny O'Rourke with Dr Jim Phillips on the BATTLE OF GEORGE SQUARE, 1919 
Steve Chambers with David Rosenberg on the BATTLE OF CABLE STREET, 1936 
Karline Smith with Dr Kenny Monrose on the NOTTING HILL RIOTS, 1958
Luan Goldie with Dr Jonathan Moss on the FORD DAGENHAM WOMEN'S STRIKE, 1968
Irfan Master with David Renton on BLAIR PEACH, 1979 
Lucas Stewart with Mike Carden on the LIVERPOOL DOCKERS DISPUTE, 1995
Gaia Holmes with Dr Chris Cocking on the NEWBURY BYPASS PROTEST, 1996
Zoe Lambert with Jo Blackman on SEEDS OF HOPE, 1996
Nikita Lalwani with Dr Roger Ball on the TOTTENHAM RIOT, 2011
Julia Bell with Daniel Renwick on GRENFELL, 2017

This project has been supported by the Barry Amiel and Norman Melburn Trust and the Lipman-Miliband Trust, as well as Arts Council England.

Part of Comma's 'History-into-Fiction' series. 

Featuring 2020 Women's Prize longlisted author Luan Goldie.

See Short Story Course with Karline Smith, Manchester event HERESee Resist(ance): a Collective Read event HERESee Short Fiction Course: Writing the Urban Weird with SJ Bradley event HERE


One of Waterstones' 'Best of 2019' - shop HERE!

One of The Guardian Bookshop's 'Ones to Watch' September 2019 - shop HERE!

One of '30 books for autumn 2019' at iNews.

One of the '11 best fiction and feminist reads for November' at Stylist Magazine.

Including Kamila Shamsie's story 'Savage' as featured in Prospect Magazine.


'Resist is about how important it is to question the status quo as governments and right-wing movements attempt to set our agenda.' - Stylist

'What a clever idea for a book... It works admirably.' - The Irish Times

'There's never a bad time to be reminded that, when things got bad enough, ordinary Britons would fight back' - The Herald 

'There's an urgency to this publication... It's risky, it's Godless and utterly successful.' - New Welsh Review

'A precious source of inspiration and hope in the face of the many other battles inevitably to come.' - Wasafiri Magazine 103

'The stories are of a consistently high literary quality, and more importantly, do vital work in finding the human element in mass protests and key historical moments of insurrection.' - LSE Review of Books

'It's historic and new, it reflects while questioning the current day, it offers a fictional exploration and a grounded real world context.' - The Skinny

'Resist is a brilliant collection to illustrate how long stretching far-right politics in Britain actually is, and forces you to reflect how we're very much at the centre of the global conversation about race and other crises of politics. An electric collection of shorts by a range of authors bring the history alive...' - For Books' Sake

'A relevant read for anyone trying to make sense of today's society.' - The Fountain

'It's a powerful collection and well worth the read so please don't be daunted by the subject matter if you're feeling overwhelmed by the world.' - Emma Yates-Badley, Northern Soul

'Resist is a deftly curated anthology... This is a book for complex political times that celebrates protest as a progressive force in society.' - NB Magazine

'Beautifully curated and emotive yet scholarly – but not polemical, didactic or dry – this is an anthology to weep over and to galvanise the spirit.' - Tracy Ryan, Number 9 Reviews

'A very varied, educational, interesting read' - Eleanor Sophie Writes

'What this powerful collection does is provide the country with a permanent book of reference to 2000 years of class struggle.' - Read the full review of our launch event on the Manchester Lit Fest blog.


Read Kamila Shamsie's story 'Savage' at LitHub.

Read David Renton's afterword to Irfan Master's story on the Death of Blair Peach at LitHub.

Read an interview with editor Ra Page on Protest in the Age of Coronavirus at The London Magazine.

Read Julia Bell's story 'Fear In Your Water' about the Grenfell Tower tragedy at The London Magazine.

Read Karline Smith on the origins of the Notting Hill Carnival at Black Ballad.

Read the introduction from editor Ra Page at Bookanista.

Read Eley Williams' story on the Rebecca Riots, featured in The Times Literary Supplement.

Read Luan Goldie's story 'The Done Thing' at Minor Literatures.

Read an interview with Nikita Lalwani, Luan Goldie and SJ Bradley at The State of the Arts.

Read about Karline Smith's story 'The Whistling Bird' in The Voice.

Read about SJ Bradley's story 'Black Showers' in the Oxford Mail.


Watch Abbey Heffer discuss Boudicca's Rising:Colonial Violence in the British Imagination: Resist Reads 1

Watch Abbey Heffer discuss Caroline Norton: The Campaign for (Some) Children's Rights: Resist Reads 2

Watch Abbey Heffer discuss Race, Class and Power: State Violence and Savagery: Resist Reads 3

Watch Abbey Heffer discuss The Notting Hill Riots: Activism and Everyday Acts of Resistance: Resist Reads 4.

Watch Abbey Heffer discuss How Protest Works: Beyond Placards, Processions and Trying to Get the Media's Attention: Resist Reads 5.

Watch the preview event at Hay Festival 2019 on Hay Player, featuring Eley Williams, Bidisha and Zoe Lambert. (£)

Watch the launch event at Manchester Literature Festival 2019, featuring Karline Smith, Irfan Master and Steve Chambers. 

Watch the virtual event at Big Book Weekend 2020 on MyVLF, hosted by Bradford Lit Fest and featuring Bidisha, Zoe Lambert and Luan Goldie.

Watch the virtual event at Writing on the Wall Festival 2020 on Facebook (live broadcast), featuring Julia Bell, Karline Smith and Lucas Stewart.

Watch the virtual event in partnership with Bookmarks Bookshop on Facebook (live broadcast) featuring Luan Goldie and Steve Chambers. 

Watch the virtual event with Sheffield Libraries on Zoom featuring Zoe Lambert, Jo Blackman and Bidisha.

Watch the virtual event at Newham Word Festival on YouTube featuring Luan Goldie and Julia Bell. 


Listen to an interview with editor Ra Page on the Versus History podcast.

Listen to an interview with contributor Gaia Holmes at Inkwell Arts.