In the warm, womb-like space of the cottage, the light from the open fire flickers and casts dull shadows of birds across the wall. On my gloved hand, a slender, lightweight and beautifully patterned female sparrowhawk. To my left, a smaller but no less impressive male. Both hawks emanate a quiet, self-contained calm. A fine balance of precision and coiled unsparing instinct, all contained within a gossamer skein of feather, skin, muscle and bone. They remind me of that thin slither of a moment just before a jack-in-the-box pops. Months ago these hawks arrived, via a vet, from the wild, injured. To have them legally in my possession is a rare pleasure.
The Falconer and the Hawks
‘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.
‘Swifts come closer than any other creature to living in the sky and having air and ceaseless movement as their home.’
In the summer of 1917 Robert Grainier took part in an attempt on the life of a Chinese laborer caught, or anyway accused of, stealing from the company stores of the Spokane International Railway in the Idaho Panhandle.
‘Can bad mothers be taught to be good? Or maybe, can we be incentivized to bond? To love?’