February Round-Up

The Amateur Marriage, Anne Tyler, 2004I Feel Bad About My Neck, Nora Ephron, 2006Beside the Sea, Veronique Olmi, 2001 (tr. Adriana Hunter) I’m slowly making my way through Anne Tyler’s backlist, hoping I can make it last the rest of my life because each one of her books is such a joy to read. ThisContinue reading “February Round-Up”


Toni Morrison, 1987 This is a novel widely regarded as one of the best ever written. I whole-heartedly agree. Not only is the story itself incredibly moving, every single character is compelling and well-developed, the sense of place and history is more vivid than any novel I can recall, and the prose is absolutely stunning.Continue reading “Beloved”

The Bell Jar

By Sylvia Plath, published 1963 This is an extract from my doctoral thesis, in which I analyze several novels on the theme of fertility rights. In The Bell Jar, Plath sets up a world that is familiar since her protagonist struggles to access contraception. However, unusually, Esther expresses fear of pregnancy and believes her entireContinue reading “The Bell Jar”

The Business of Birth Control

Documentary, screened with The Trouble Club at The Vagina Museum, London19 October, 2022 Members of the Trouble Club (like me!) were invited to a screening of a new documentary, The Business of Birth Control, from Abby Epstein and Ricki Lake. The filmmakers describe it as an examination of “the complex relationship between hormonal birth controlContinue reading “The Business of Birth Control”

The Men

By Sandra Newman, published 2022 I stumbled on this book while perusing Libreria near Shoreditch. While it isn’t exactly about motherhood, it caught my attention because it’s probably one of the most conventional versions of a feminist dystopia you can imagine: all the men in the world – poof! – disappear. At first the worldContinue reading “The Men”


By Lisa Taddeo, published 2021 I don’t think I’ve ever used the phrase “tour-de-force” but it’s what comes to mind with this book. I initially had a difficult time getting into the novel because the narrator is a bit strange and probably a mentally ill. Joan is a bit like Eleanor Oliphant except that sheContinue reading “Animal”

Goodbye, Ramona

By Montserrat Roig, 1972; translated 2022 by Maria Cristina Hall and Megan Berkobien I had the pleasure of discussing this book with one of the translators, Maria Cristina Hall, at the invitation of its publisher Fum D’Estampa Press. Until this year, I had not heard of Montserrat Roig, and as this is the first translationContinue reading “Goodbye, Ramona”

I Lock My Door Upon Myself

‘Oh–but I didn’t really want them, I thought you did.’ By Joyce Carol Oates, 1990 This book had escaped me, although I’m a big fan of Joyce Carol Oates, until Mother Tongue magazine shared it on Instagram. It’s the story of Calla, told by her granddaughter in mythical-like tangents that keep you turning the pagesContinue reading “I Lock My Door Upon Myself”