Books by Heather Augustyn

The first book on women in ska released on March 8, 2023, International Women’s Day. Rude Girls: Women in 2 Tone and One Step Beyond, by ska music historian Heather Augustyn contains well over 50 interviews with women involved in ska bands that began during the 2 Tone era of ska in the late 1970s through the 1980s.

Rude Girls: Women in 2 Tone and One Step Beyond features interviews with members of the Selecter, the Specials and the Special AKA, the Bodysnatchers, the Beat, the Go-Go’s, the Belle Stars, Bow Wow Wow, Amazulu, Dexys Midnight Runners, Fun Boy Three, the Mo-Dettes, the Deltones, the Swinging Cats, the Potato 5, Maroon Town, Bananarama, Splashdown, the Friday Club, Holly and the Italians, the Forest Hill Billies, the Lemons, the Loafers, and many more.

Women vocalists, musicians, composers, and managers are finally recognized as Augustyn weaves their personal stories of empowerment and struggle into a narrative with details of their bands’ performances and recordings. Many bands played ska exclusively, while others dabbled in ska or toured with and supported ska. Some are well known, some are more obscure.

“Women’s voices have been largely silent, until now,” said Augustyn. “These women made space for the rest of us. They are incredibly inspiring, funny, and powerful.”