When I look at my vast and growing collection of literary works about faraway places it seems as though I have been obsessed with travel writing for a long time. In my imagination I have been to many villages and cities in the world; crawled up to a hut on top of a mountain; heard winds of the desert singing – my quest to know other people and lands never ends.
Alexis Wright | Is Travel Writing Dead?
‘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.
Rachel Cusk on motherhood, marriage and separation.
Murasaki’s Paper Trail
Martin Puchner on how Murasaki Shikibu, a lady-in-waiting at the Japanese court, manage to write the first great novel of world literature.
‘Part of what made him interesting was that I felt he would dismiss me the moment I bored him.’
‘Members of the committee, I am bitter, it’s true. But this doesn’t change the facts.’