The belief in free will is necessary to most good fiction. Without it, characters must be made to drift indifferently from one prospect to another. Human decisions will seem either not to matter or to be unconvincingly portrayed. It is not essential that the novelist himself fully believe in free wi…
The Weightless Characters of William Styron
‘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.
Writing Like Degas Paints
Sulaiman Addonia on how Edgar Degas’ nude portraits inspired his latest novel, Silence Is My Mother Tongue.
Lucia Berlin Writes Home
Nina Ellis on the life and writing of Lucia Berlin. ‘If Berlin's collections were houses, their hallways would change direction without warning, and their rooms would be bright and dark at the same time.’