Breaking through memories into desire

Dear Chris, In After Kathy Acker (2017), you are after a woman who was a professed self-mythologizer. Acker liked to play hide-and-seek, and buried herself in a room full of distorting mirrors. All you dispose of to find this woman is a collage of contradictory testimonials, and her own words. You can try to uncover…

Chris Kraus

Chris Kraus (1955) is an American writer and filmmaker. She has  a BA from Victoria University of Wellington (New Zealand). After working as a journalist for five years, she moved to New York City in the late 1970s, and started performing and making films, video art and plays. Interviews Cultural Icons series.  Full Stop. 4 December 2012 Lenny Letter. 04 August 2017…

Hope is a wound

Dear Marianne, The Weight of Things (2015), translated by Adrian Nathan West (Die Schwerkraft der Verhältnisse, 1978) is this odd thing: something in-between a horror story, a domestic satire and an allegory of the insanity of war – a tale where the only character who does not lack in accountability and personal responsability is the…

Marianne Fritz

Marianne Fritz (14 December 1948 – 1 October 2007) was an Austrian writer. She completed her high school studies and received training as an office worker. Fritz worked as a freelance writer, and lived in modest circumstances in Vienna. Books In English The Weight of Things, translated by Adrian Nathan West (2015) In German Die Schwerkraft der…

A woman with a mission

Dear Margaret, In your novel Miss Marjoribanks (1866), your protagonist seems to have set herself the difficult task of trying to overcome the confines of Victorian views on women. However, at the same time, she does so by remaining dutifully bound to these very narrow confines. Much like your protagonist, you seem to write from…

Margaret Oliphant

Margaret Oliphant Wilson Oliphant (born Margaret Oliphant Wilson, 4 April 1828 – 25 June 1897) was a Scottish writer. In 1851, she was invited by the publisher William Blackwood to contribute to the famous Blackwood’s Magazine. In 1852, she married her cousin, Frank Wilson Oliphant. Three of their six children died in infancy; her husband later developed symptoms of tuberculosis, and died in…

Don’t ever wait for the swallows,

Dear Larissa, Your short story collection Swallow Summer, translated by Lyn Marven (2016. Originally, Schwalbensommer, 2003) made me think of tracks made of air: we might know they have just been travelled by birds, but we cannot trace back the moment immediately before their departure, or the very first movement of their wings. Your stories felt…

Larissa Boehning

Larissa Boehning (1971) is a German writer. She has a Bachelor’s and Master’s Degree in Cultural Studies, Art History and Philosophy, and studied in Lüneburg and Berlin. She works as a graphic designer, lecturer and freelance writer. Awards Longlisted for the 2007 German Book Prize for the book Lichte Stoffe (‘Light Materials’) Books In English:  Swallow Summer, tr….

The Classics Spin #16

Hello, lovely readers! It’s time for another Classics Club Spin! Participants post a list of 20 books on their Classics Club list. On Friday morning (November, 17th), a random number will be selected by the Club. The challenge is to read whatever book falls under that number on your Spin List, by December 31st, 2017. Here is my…

She attacked first

Dear Oriana, You had never wanted your life story to be written. “I have never authorized, nor will I ever authorize, a biography,” you said once. So, it was with some trepidation that I approached “Oriana Fallaci: The Journalist, the Agitator, the Legend”, by Cristina de Stefano, translated from the Italian by Marina Harss (Other…

Oriana Fallaci

Oriana Fallaci (29 June 1929 – 15 September 2006) was an Italian journalist, novelist, and political interviewer. She worked as a war correspondent covering Vietnam, the Indo-Pakistani War, and the Middle East, and  lectured at the University of Chicago, Yale University, Harvard University, and Columbia University. Books I sette peccati di Hollywood, 1958 (The Seven Sins of Hollywood) Il sesso inutile, viaggio intorno alla donna,…