I always know, when I sit down beside my small herd of cows – and also feel that they might know – that our relationship is flawed. I may be their custodian, the provider of grass in summer and hay and straw in winter, and the shelter of a barn away from the wind; but I am also their predator, the agent who removes the young bullocks at 30 months and has them killed, who has the power of life and death over all 15 of them. And so, when I am with them, that double atmosphere prevails: wary and easy, calm with a suggestion that calm might not be the whole story, all in it together but not in it together at all.
‘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.
Chasing Wolves in the American West
‘It is the wildest part of the American South-West and, in a way, its most beautiful.’
‘The eel is perfect, in its sheen of efficiency, its introversion, scarcely distinct from the place it makes its own, like a cancer, spread into every cell of the moors.’