The cover depicts a still life of fruit, a Flemish master maybe, where desire meets decay and ripe meets rot. A still life of how feminine sexuality is seen and experienced in the world ― all at once it’s fresh and open, ready to devour and discuss and dissect, but in a moment it can […]Read more "Forbidden Fruit"
January was dark. In January I spent the days looking for the light and counting the clock ticking a minute more of daylight for days on end. In January Olivia and I read Her Body and Other Parties, pulling it apart thread by thread on her bedroom floor. We marvelled at her terrifying articulation of femininity and […]Read more "My Year (in books)"
It’s the flash and glare, the speckle, the flare of colour refracted through the camera lens that simultaneously blinds and binds me. The haze of a dawn, with the sky shot through; the shadow and the shade, the soft movement of time tapped out across a blank wall. I watch and wait for it to […]Read more "Stacks that Shine (or, Illuminating Literature)"
It began with her face in marble mosaic, walked upon by thousands each day, in the entrance hall of The National Gallery. Next was Durga Chew-Bose’s title of her essay collection, lifted from the her Diaries. And then it was that twitter account – Vita & Virgina Bot – serving tweet sized samples from the […]Read more "On Youth, Woolf, and The Man Booker Prize"
Back to work after six long weeks of doing nothing but reading – I would laze in bed and emerge only when I’d turned the final page. Or I took my coffee into the patch of morning sun and shift my body, hot and sleepy, across the room as it rose and turned into a […]Read more "Summer Reading (a reflection of sorts)"
We all write our own mythologies – the mythology of millennials, of instagram, of ourselves. I often say that my online life is a careful curation. I choose what to post. I only show the actions and write the captions that I wish others to see. I am in control. This online life isn’t real, […]Read more "Modern Mythologies"
I finished rereading A.S. Byatt’s The Children’s Book. Last time I read it I wrote myself a hangover cure: visit the V&A museum, take up pottery, frolic in the English countryside, read Peter Pan, drink tea, sleep. So, behold, a collection of cures for that book that made you suffer: the best of the reading remedies from this […]Read more "Reading Remedies (Part II)"
(from a conversation with students) New Kanye. Ye. Not ye, as in ‘come all ye faithful’, but Ye as in Kanye. Kan-yay. But Yeezy. It’s pronounced Yee-zee, not Yay-zee they said. Yes, but that’s with the extra ‘e’. And since when has Kanye cared about phonetics? He rhymes live with serious, them with apartment, and cousins with dumb. Kanye even […]Read more "Everything under ‘Everything Under’"
I finished rereading A.S. Byatt’s The Children’s Book. Last time I read it I wrote myself a hangover cure: visit the V&A museum, take up pottery, frolic in the English countryside, read Peter Pan, drink tea, sleep. So, behold, a collection of cures for that book that made you suffer: the best of the reading remedies […]Read more "Reading Remedies (Part I)"
I am a teacher. A high school teacher. A high school English teacher. It is rough. And I think about quitting often. But I don’t. I don’t because in the last week I spoke about the symbolism of the moon, hating Shakespeare’s Claudio, cats, Beyonce, Jane Eyre as a feminist text, Carol Ann Duffy’s The World’s […]Read more "The International Dylan Thomas Prize"