Anna Kessel

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Eat Sweat Play

book | Non-Fiction | Jun 2016
UK & Comm → Macmillan (Ed. Robin Harvie)

What does it mean to be a sporty woman in the 21st century? From the launch of Net-A-Sporter, serving up sports clothing for fashionistas, to the introduction of #plankie as the new Instagram selfie for yoga bunnies; exercise for women has finally gone mainstream.

But if sweating has never been so hot for female celebrities, then why are there still so many obstacles for girls and women when it comes to sport? Why do girls still hate school sports lessons? Why is sport consistently defined as male territory, with TV cameras replicating the male gaze as they search out the most beautiful women in the crowd? Will women ever flock to watch football, rugby and boxing in their millions? Or turn up to the park with friends for a Sunday morning kickabout? How long do we have to wait to see the first multi-millionaire female footballer or basketball player?

Eat Sweat Play is an engaging and inspirational work by sports writer Anna Kessel.


Alice Dill manages the translation rights for Eat Sweat Play

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The audio rights are handled by Alice Lutyens.

Translation Rights Sold

Chinese Simple
Mainland China
Ginkgo Book Co.

This is a book for all women. It challenges the very idea that some women like sport but most hate it. Not in a condescending way, but through the most comprehensive analysis of women’s relationship to sport, and their bodies in that context, that I’ve come across. It champions fun and the other adrenaline-fueled feelings that sport gives you.

Suzanne Beishon
Morning Star

I want to thank Anna Kessel for writing Eat Sweat Play. It is not just an accessible, incredibly funny and searingly honest look at women and sport, and it is not just a highly irreverent, against-the-grain, taboo-breaking wonder of a book, it is that rare thing: genuinely empowering for women.

Sally Campbell
Waterstones Blog

As Stylist’s Fair Game campaign has highlighted for the past four years, women and men are not on a level playing field when it comes to sport – which makes Guardian sports writer Kessel’s new book a breath of fresh air. A piercing call to arms, she argues that if women and girls embrace being active, it will lead to a sea change for women’s bodies, self image and outlook. It is brilliant.

Francesca Brown

Part manifesto, part memoir, part how to, Eat Sweat Play is feminism on wheels (a bike), kicking sport right in the (foot)balls...Kessel makes a compelling, thought-provoking case for sport as a route towards equality (and the current culture in sport as a stumbling block). I think she’s right. 

Lauren Laverne
The Pool

Every so often a book comes along that changes the way you think. Eat Sweat Play is one of those books.

Bold and brave, it’s a beautiful read, with author Anna Kessel, a Guardian and Observer sports writer, emerging as a modern-day Roberta Gibb.

Paul Brown
Sports Journalists' Association

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Translation Rights
Alice Dill
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Translation Rights
Melissa Pimentel
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