What’s so hard about that first sentence is that you’re stuck with it. Everything else is going to flow out of that sentence. And by the time you’ve laid down the first two sentences, your options are all gone. – Joan Didion I’m not someone who reads the back of books. I’ve been told by […]
Ballet is more than a profession – it is a way of life. – Margot Fonteyn Awhile ago a friend and I were talking about religion. She belonged to a church whose ideology was based on the idea that there is no one ideology – God cannot be found in one form. As a teen, […]
Day 15 of quarantine, Toilet paper supply is stable, but tensions are high. I spent Friday night cooking vinegar braised chicken and roasted beats when I began to feel that throb of restlessness. It’s coming, I thought. I drowned it in the last bottle of wine I had stashed away, unnerved by the fact that […]
Q: Do you admire Elegance? A: Yes, because it makes you feel better. It’s a form. I’m very attached to certain forms, like compulsive rituals. I like to cook; I like to sew. They’re peaceful things, and they’re an expression of caring. The interview question above is answered by Joan Didion. I passed it while […]
An English professor once told my short stories class that if you want to be a writer, it’s imperative you live in New York at least once in your life. I took his advice to heart and moved to New York not after graduation, but during it. Eight years later, I understand his advice in […]
In 1816, twenty-year-old Mary Shelley and her husband traveled to Switzerland for a summer vacation to the home of their friend’s house, Lord Byron. For three weeks, however, the weather was so bad, so fraught with storms and high winds, no one was able to leave the house. With a few other guests staying with […]
Someone once asked me where I found all the time to watch all the TV I do. I turned to them, serious as I’d ever been, and said, ‘you find the time for the things you love.’ I’m not ashamed to say I love television. TV shows, books, movies, they’re all the same to me. […]
Jay (my husband) and I got in a fight the other night. One of those fights where I think, This is it. He’s going to leave me one day. With all that frustration and anger in his voice, how could he not? It was one of those fights that comes out of nowhere. The kind […]
Motherhood. The word sails through my mind at random yet with increasing persistence. Maybe because I’m getting closer to that age. Maybe because it’s around me more. Maybe because this is how it happens. A word enters the brain, slowly, over time, becoming a thought, that thought then nestling into the body, unconsciously or consciously […]
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The Bell Jar is the only novel written by the American writer and poet Sylvia Plath. Originally published under the pseudonym “Victoria Lucas” in 1963, the novel is semi-autobiographical, with the names of places and people changed. The book is often regarded as a roman à clef because the protagonist’s descent into mental illness parallels Plath’s own experiences with what may have been clinical depression or bipolar II disorder. Plath died by suicide a month after its first UK publication.
In The Namesake, Lahiri enriches the themes that made her collection an international bestseller: the immigrant experience, the clash of cultures, the conflicts of assimilation, and, most poignantly, the tangled ties between generations. Here again Lahiri displays her deft touch for the perfect detail — the fleeting moment, the turn of phrase — that opens whole worlds of emotion.
At twenty-three, Dani Shapiro was in the midst of a major rebellion against her religious upbringing. She had dropped out of college, was halfheartedly acting in television commercials, and was carrying on with an older married man when her life was changed, in an instant, by a phone call. Her parents had been in a devastating car accident. Neither was expected to survive. In her first memoir, Shapiro offers this powerful true story of a life turned around; not by miracles or happy endings, but by unexpected personal catastrophe.
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Isolations is life’s condition. A void in time you can fill with self-reflection. I can’t imagine anyone better trained at that than a woman. Isolation is silence. We’ve used all words; we are limited in our actions. Stay at home. Who knows silence better than a woman? Isolation is being invincible yet weak. A woman’s […]
I glide my spoon over the pale pink strawberry ice-cream. It’s smooth and not-too-sweet and delicately indulgent. It tastes like summer. I’m drinking fresh mint tea, in a shade of pale green. Tonight, I am dining in perfect pastels, wearing my black dress, my gold hoops gleaming in the soft lighting. I am alone, sitting […]
Anyone who was growing up in the nineties may remember a time when TV (if you had one) offered only four channels. Watching ‘Friends’ on a Friday night with my family was a major treat. With any story you became invested in, there were adverts you reluctantly sat through, and even if an episode ended […]