Ann Petry

Ann Petry (October 12, 1908 – April 28, 1997) was an American writer. Her parents belonged to the black minority of the small town in Connecticut where she was born. She graduated from Connecticut College of Pharmacy in New Haven, in 1931. After getting married, in 1938, Ann moved to New York. There, she wrote for newspapers,…

Molly Keane

Molly Keane (born Mary Nesta Skrine, 20 July 1904 – 22 April 1996) was an Irish writer. She went to a boarding school in Bray, County Wicklow, married one of a Waterford squirearchical family in 1938 and had two daughters, Sally and Virginia. Between 1928 and 1956, she wrote under the pseudonym M.J. Farrell.  Awards Shortlisted for…

I don’t know what my limits are anymore

Dear Irmgard, The eponymous heroine of your novel Gilgi (2013, tr. Geoff Wilkes. Original title: Gilgi, eine von uns, 1931) is a twenty-one-year-old German middle-class girl who lives in Cologne, during the rise of fascism, in the 1930s. Gilgi, short for Gisela, is independent, matter-of-fact, and ambitious: she is determined to climb the social ladder and…

Irmgard Keun

Irmgard Keun (6 February 1905 – 5 May 1982) was a German writer. In Cologne, Keun attended a Lutheran girls’ school. From 1925 to 1927, she attended an acting school and worked as a stenotypist. Encouraged by Alfred Döblin, she started writing in 1929. In 1933, her books were banned by the Nazis. In 1936, she…

My year of Pilgrimage

Hello, lovely bookish friends! How are you? Right now, I am surrounded by blue skies and the thin buttery sunlight of late Winter. I have four tomes and a window in front of me. Inspired by Liz , Sarah, Kaggsy and Jane, who have undertaken this journey before, I’ve been toying with the idea of reading through all thirteen novels…

but thousands of bells clanged inside me

Dear Clarice, Rereading your stories after so long makes me feel as if I were looking through colour-stained glass: each story comes with the shadow of my previous reading of it. The shadow of how it felt like at the time; the stain of what I had not understood properly then, and do now; or…

Clarice Lispector

Clarice Lispector (born Chaya, December 10, 1920 – December 9, 1977) was a Brazilian writer. She was born to a Jewish family in Chechelnyk, Podolia, a shtetl in what today is Ukraine.  Having suffered in the pogroms during the Russian Civil War that followed the dissolution of the Russian Empire, her family fled to Romania, from where…

Poem stains

Dear Charlotte, I found your poem on a collection of Dutch and Flemish poetry. It immediately left salt stains on my hands, as I tried to translate it. I’ll leave below my English version of your poem. I hope it hasn’t lost its original salt. Yours truly, J. “LAUNDROMAT DE NETEZON by Charlotte van den…

Charlotte Van den Broeck

Charlotte Van den Broeck (29/06/1991) is a Flemish poet, born in Turnhout. She studied Language and Literature at Ghent University, and  is currently taking a degree course in Arts of the Spoken Word and Theatre at the Royal Conservatoire of Antwerp. Charlotte is editor of the literary magazine DW B, and she also takes part…

Tessa Hadley

Tessa Jane Hadley (née Nichols; 28 February 1956) is a British writer. She has a Bachelor of Arts in English and a Postgraduate Certificate in Education from Clare College, University of Cambridge. She earned Master of Arts in creative writing at the Bath Spa University College, and a PhD at the University of the West of England.  She…