I lay in bed that first night at boarding school, listening to the silence wrap around me. Instead of hearing my father’s voice chanting the shahada – ‘There is no God but Allah, and Muhammad is His prophet’ – I heard my own voice whispering: ‘Mahdi, Mahdi, Mahdi – this is all because …
The Mother of All Sins
‘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 Swallow’s Nest
Meet Gore Vidal in this excerpt from John Boyne’s novel A Ladder to the Sky.