What’s Been On My Mind This Week

Question Mark1. The longlist for the Bailey’s Women’s Prize for fiction was announced on Friday. As well as literary heavyweights Donna Tartt and Margaret Atwood, the twenty-strong list also features six debut novelists. The judges will have to whittle these books down to a shortlist of six before announcing the winner on 4th June.

2. On International Women’s Day yesterday I watched this great video again. Denice Frohman is a spoken word poet, and won the 2013 Women of the World Poetry Slam Championships. Watch the video and you’ll see why.

3. Last year, a friend of mine took me to an event hosted by wonderful independent bookshop Lutyens & Rubinstein, where authors Andrew Solomon and Stephen Grosz were interviewed by Cressida Connolly. Both authors have written absolutely brilliant, life-changing works of non-fiction, and I urge you to read both Far from the Tree and The Examined Life. For a taste of the former, watch Andrew Solomon’s TED Talk here.

4. Author and breast cancer survivor Stella Duffy has written an open, impassioned, eloquent and brave letter to the Sun newspaper, calling them on their decision to use Page 3 girls to promote a breast cancer awareness campaign.

5. President Yoweri Museveni of Uganda signed the Anti-Homosexuality Act into law last week. The law threatens life imprisonment for ‘aggravated homosexuality’ and a seven-year sentence for ‘aiding and abetting homosexuality’. Homosexuality is still illegal in thirty-seven African nations.

6. I read two great books this week: Me Talk Pretty One Day by David Sedaris is a hilarious collection of essays loosely linked by the theme of humans’ inability to communicate. Her is Harriet Lane’s second novel (it’s out in June) and is the gripping, intricate and dark story of two women, one of whom begins to develop a dangerous obsession.

7. I’m currently listening (again) to Metric’s 2012 album Synthetica, which is a brilliant electro-rock blend with interesting, philosophical lyrics that explore the real versus the synthetic, and how we can stay engaged in a world filled with constant artificial distractions.

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Categories: On My Mind . . .

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