Neaptide by Sarah Daniels
"Neaptide races from domestic trauma to staff-room banter ... it bursts with provocative ideas and disturbing questions about human relationships. Most important, it shows that the facade of liberalism and emancipation is merely a translucent gloss." Jewish Chronicle Claire is a history teacher at a local school where two teenage girls have come out. Their principal, Bea Grimble, is none too impressed, and aims to have them expelled. Claire, who had been hiding the fact that she is homosexual, speaks up on behalf of the girls: this in spite of the fact that she is fighting her ex-husband Lawrence for custody of their daughter, the precocious and happy Poppy. All around Claire hardened attitudes are challenged - and confirmed - as she must decide whether to try to maintain a position of honesty, and battle hypocrisy, from within the bounds of the law, or without. A modern story of custody battles, sexual identity and gender politics, framed around the ancient myth of Demeter and her daughter Persephone. Neaptide was the winner of the 1982 George Devine Award and became the first play by a living female writer to be performed at the National Theatre, London, in 1986. This Modern Classics edition feature a new introduction by Dr Carina Bartleet.