In the land of Ferdowsi, of Rumi and Omar Khayyam, Hafez and Scheherazade, in October of the year 1977, fifty-nine poets and writers assembled to read and recite for ten continuous nights. Ten thousand people gathered in the gardens and halls of the Goethe Institute in Tehran. The stories and poems …
‘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.
The Last Vet
‘Jalloh likes to keep accurate records of such things. After all, nobody else does.’
A Few Words about Fake Breasts
‘You repeat this over and over. You pinch your nipples harder. Then harder and harder still. You twist them. You dare them to say Mercy. You stare into your own eyes that are watching you from the mirror.’
Murasaki’s Paper Trail
Martin Puchner on how Murasaki Shikibu, a lady-in-waiting at the Japanese court, manage to write the first great novel of world literature.