Double shame for women writers, regretful rejections, the end of Kimye, house prices, offline hitting like a drug -- and a music video?!?!

Martine Rose SS20 Campaign. Adam, Ndu, Thomas, Kenny and Dara in Martine’s garden. Photography @dickjewell Art Direction @ericwrennoffice Styling @tamararothstein1 Casting @jonicasting Make up @marinabelfonrose.

Hi friends,

The night I sent the last edition of READ.LOOK.THINK I got too frightened to keep watching Married At First Sight Australia. I hope I didn’t get anyone else on the terrifying and depressing MAFS journey! It’s not good and not fun.


I would read a 80,000 word version of this fascinating and unusual review of Rachel Cusk's work by Melinda Harvey in the Sydney Review of Books.

“When I closed a three-paragraph letter “regretfully” rejecting a story by someone with an apparently male appellation by asking him to send another piece, I regularly received one within days. Letters asking Sally or Ann or Leslie to send another piece were like messages in bottles thrown into the sea.”

"The one thing my characters never, ever did back then was act – because to act would be to show yourself, to take a risk. And I was not ready for that." Charlotte Wood.

"Resilience without any waning period, turned into endurance, and I became adept at snuffing out my own vulnerability and discomfort before I even felt it. I grew into someone who could live anywhere, befriend anyone, be anyone, do anything — the harder, the better." Don’t mistake silent endurance for resilience.

"As I ate, I began to set a place at the table for my grief. Accept it was a guest in my house and so I should at least be polite. I offered it drinks and snacks. I listened to its worries. I took away its wine glass if it started to get too rowdy. Sometimes we fought, sometimes we negotiated, other times we just sat in silence. Eventually we just learnt to be in the same room without shouting over each other."

Women who write about their pain suffer a double shaming: once for getting injured, twice for their act of self-exposure.

Eula Biss on Adrienne Rich.

A special interview with Nigella (I wrote a whole paragraph about her but deleted it; I felt embarrassed analysing a real person in the way I'd analyse a character in a book?!)


Let’s make a writers’ colony here in Tasmania.

Oh boy I would literally commit a crime to get jpegs of the controversially redecorated Downing Street flat of Carrie Symonds and her boyfriend. Here is a BOBT house tour by the alleged designer Lulu Lytle.

CHICKPEA FATTAH (I know I have already shared the iconic Melbourne Moroccan Soup Bar version).

Rachel Tashjian's reading list.

Linn Ullmann's podcast How To Proceed has great interviews with top tier guests like Cusk and Ali Smith.

My friend Vic Hannan — author of best-selling (!!) Australian novel Kokomo — was a guest on The First Time podcast.


Friday night, my wife says to me, “Something wrong? You seem to be really off. Is there something going on with us—personally or what?” We had an apartment in D.C., and I took her down to the first-floor bathroom, turned on the faucet, took her in the shower, shut the shower door, and whispered in her ear: “We’re going to go after Osama bin Laden.”

"She said her two teenage sons have started walking out whenever there’s a sex scene in a movie or an episode of Game of Thrones because they’re so sick of her counting down the seconds from penetration to climax (“Oh my God, stop it, Mom!”)." The tyranny of the female-orgasm industrial complex.

"When the Biden inauguration happened, I was surprised to find that I was not uplifted or relieved, but freed to feel how hideous the whole thing had been, how damaged I felt." Rebecca Solnit on the PTSD of the post-Trump era.

“(She notes that we are less likely to hear from the women who are desperate to get away from their families and back to a full workweek. Not wanting to do care work is even more socially unacceptable than a desire to spend more time with one’s children.)”

"Sometimes, she would open a plastic bin in her closet that contained some of [George] Floyd’s old security-guard uniforms, just to smell them, feel his presence."

“I don’t want to make endometriosis a women’s issue. I want to make it an M.I.T. issue.”

"But it is a slightly uncomfortable thing to witness: At the same time we’re seeing some of the ways Kanye’s experience of race and racism broke him, we’re watching Kim legitimize her next career." Great longread on the end of Kimye.

"This weird model of capitalism, in which houses appreciate in value but people don’t, may not have been consciously planned, but nor was it an accident." Johnson’s Tories are reaping the rewards of an economy built on rising house prices.

“The world of close proximity is soon available to you again. Don’t let the internet drag you out of it.” / "Offline is going to hit like a drug. I can't wait."