My mother was born on 20 August 1923 and christened Sheila Mary Felicity Cobon. At some stage she was told the supposed meaning of these names, or looked them up in a book. Her forenames meant by derivation Blind Bitter Happiness. As an adult Sheila found this augury ruefully amusing, or faintly ann…
Blind Bitter Happiness
‘When I think of menopause I don’t think of hot flashes; I am not here to talk about hot flashes.’ Mary Ruefle on menopause.
Urvashi Butalia on the life of transgender Mona Ahmed and her search for a feminine identity.
The Weak Spot
‘Murder class was the new thing, but of course they didn’t call it that. They called it Specialised Life Skills for Girls.’ – Sophie Mackintosh
woman is a construct
‘woman is basically meant / to be a residential complex’ – A poem by Angélica Freitas, translated from the Portuguese by Hilary Kaplan.
Rachel Cusk on motherhood, marriage and separation.
What I’m Listening To
‘Obscure repertoire is a sensible hiding-place for mediocre technique.’
Everything Is Different in Your House
‘At the end of the year, an ambulance brought Suseela home from hospital to die’.
Portrait of My Father
‘I put my trophy on a high shelf, and at some stage laid it face down.’