A profile of Brigid Hughes, founding editor of A Public Space magazine: “Like travel, or uprooting your life and moving to a foreign city, or holding a conversation with a perfect stranger, reading is a way of stretching oneself beyond the boundaries of everyday experience, and the writers Hughes champions are driven by the same mix of curiosity and empathy that these activities require.”
On the lyrics of David Berman and Silver Jews: “There’s a way that listening to Berman sing feels like the best late-night conversation with a long-distance lover you’ve ever had.”
On artistic ambition, maternal ambivalence and motherhood as an existential question in Shelia Heti's novel: "To decide to be a mother, or not to be – both involve letting go of one idea of yourself and embracing another."
On spending time with Sam Shepard's notebooks at the Harry Ransom Center in Austin, TX and learning to understand my own origin story through Paris, Texas:
"Of all the ways to remember Sam Shepard—his long cross-disciplinary career; the way he reimagined the American West as a landscape of longing, isolation and abandonment; his handsome face like a cowboy in a movie with those steel-blue eyes and two lines between his brows as if he’d been staring into the sun too long—it seems important to note that he was a man who knew the names of trees and varieties of lilies."
On my mother, her paintings, and domestic space as creative space: "She smoked Marlboro Reds and drove old cars that always broke down... Her house smelled of cigarettes and turpentine, and I loved her with that special love girls reserve for the women they aspire to be like."
On the closure of The Olympia Milkbar, a neighbourhood instituion in Stanmore, Sydney: "Every childhood deserves a Boo Radley house and the Olympia Milkbar was mine."
The Neighbourhood Paper
On transience, place and memory in Sara Majka's debut story collection: "What Majka builds across these fourteen stories is like a constellation of memory – bright, hot truths shine against the darkness of all we cannot know."
On spending my summer in the Neapolitan novels: "At a time in my life where it is vital for me to read books by women—to find examples of how a woman might carve out a literary space of her own and write about her experiences—the epic novel remains a masculine territory, something I associate with the desire to document history, and claim it."
On clothing, intimacy and memory in Women In Clothes by Shelia Heti, Heidi Julavits and Leanne Shapton: "Clothing is the threshold between what is public and private, and a way of choosing what we want to show about ourselves and what we want to conceal.
An appreciation of Joan Didion, originally performed as part of "Amazing Babes" at the Emerging Writers Festival in Sydney: "Joan Didion is the patron saint of those of us who write in order to live, those of us who never feel quite at ease in any setting."