At a dinner in Atlanta, Georgia, I sat next to a slightly haggard British woman with an unlikely coif of grey ringlets who, having learned about my work, asked, ‘So tell me, then. Which do you find more burdensome: being gay or being depressed?’ I think I mustered a polite answer even as I imagined telling my husband later that his conversation partner could not have been worse than mine. But that was some fifteen years ago, before I began to question the line between identity and illness. Now, I have to admit that being gay and being depressed do have a certain amount broadly in common and a great deal in common in my life. Not because they are comparably ‘burdensome’, but because they have become my topics, both in my life and in my work. Not a day goes by that I don’t have unsolicited correspondence from someone who is depressed and needs help, or from someone who is gay and suffering for it.
Gay and Depressed | State of Mind
Isis in Darkness
Margaret Atwood presents a man pining for his lost love over decades.
Do Not Say We Have Nothing
An extract from Madeleine Thien‘s Man-Booker shortlisted novel.
Zulu Romeo Foxtrot
Douglas Coupland on rock-star font Helvetica.
In Sight of the Lake
A women looks for control in a story by Alice Munro.
A mildewed dystopia from Camilla Grudova.
‘I would peel wrappers off sandwiches, remove noodles from their boxes, fry up meat before any authorities had the chance to track me and my bounty down.’
‘We think of L’Auberge as more of a sanatorium than a rehab. Certainly not as a mental hospital.’ Fiction from Naben Ruthrum.
Brian Dillon on the Prozac craze of the 90s, and his experience taking the infamous antidepressant.