Accessibility statement

Book Prize Success for 'The Outside Thing'

Posted on 16 November 2021

Congratulations to Dr Hannah Roche, who has been awarded an Honourable Mention for her monograph, 'The Outside Thing: Modernist Lesbian Romance', which was shortlisted for the prestigious University English Book Prize.

bookjacket of 'The Outside Thing' by Hannah Roche

Dr Roche's book explores how three important writers -- Gertrude Stein, Radclyffe Hall, and Djuna Barnes -- adopted and adapted literary romance, in order to stake queer claims on a heteronormative genre. The judges congratulated Dr Roche on her stellar achievement, noting that: 'This work offers a nuanced, scholarly and original approach to some knotty and well-trodden critical issues. ... Roche argues for the importance of the label “lesbian” within queer studies; not as a corrective but as a means to draw our attention to the particular, especially the particular ways in which lesbian and bisexual authors articulated desire between women through the frankly unlikely mode of the heterosexual romance novel'. In conclusion, they agreed that 'The book makes an important intervention in queer theory and sexuality and gender studies, and also in the study of romance, Modernism and women’s writing'.

Hannah is co-editor, with Professor Jana Funke, of the first Oxford World’s Classics edition of Radclyffe Hall’s The Well of Loneliness, to be published in 2023. She is working on two further major projects: a second monograph, Behind the Times: Lesbian Modernists and the Popular Press, and a book on lesbian writers’ domestic lives, Clean Copy, intended for a general readership.

Head of Department, Professor Helen Smith, said: 'Warm congratulations to Hannah on being shortlisted for this very competitive prize. This further honour for Hannah's monograph is testament to the importance of Hannah's research, and a timely reminder of the liveliness of queer studies and the study of women's writing, here in the Department of English and Related Literature at York'.