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.
‘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.
‘Waking is now worse than falling asleep, I didn’t think that was possible.’ Translated from the Norwegian by Becky L. Crook.