It’s over eighteen months since I last posted an In the Media round-up. For those of you who are new to the blog, the idea’s a fairly simple one: I post links to interesting pieces by or about female writers that have appeared in the media (online) over the past few weeks. Previously this feature had a schedule. Initially it was weekly, then fortnightly and it always went up on a Sunday evening. However, my life has changed enormously in the last eighteen months: my marriage ended, I moved house, I turned 40 (and then 41), I left my regular job and went freelance, I started working for a literary festival, I went through a divorce. It has been, as the phrase goes, a lot. It has also changed how I read, what I read and what I choose not to read and, of course, this is going to impact on how I curate this feature.
Since I decided to bring In the Media back, I’ve been thinking about what I want it to be. On a practical level, it has to be condensed. As much as I would love to continue featuring all the work I come across by female writers, without a regular salary, I can’t afford the time it takes to compile something of that size. I’ve also pretty much stopped reading the news. As someone who’s been a news addict since 9/11, it’s been a big change for me but one that’s been so much easier to adhere to than I anticipated. I couldn’t continue being gaslighted on a daily basis and reading constant speculation on what might or might not happen at some undetermined date. What I’ve found is that I’m drawn to long form pieces in which there’s an exploration of something, whether that’s an aspect of someone’s life, a reflection on current society or an in-depth profile or interview. I want to be made to think and think deeply. What I’m most interested in is how we’re negotiating life now. The stories we’re telling about our lives, our society. Writing as resistance, as action, as a means of taking up space.
I think what I’m trying to say is In the Media will run when I can manage, with articles I really love, for all the reasons stated above.
This week’s big book news is that Margaret Atwood is writing a sequel to The Handmaid’s Tale. Called The Testaments, it’s due to be published in September 2019. In The Guardian, Stephanie Merritt argues Margaret Atwood is right to have the last word on The Handmaid’s Tale, while on Electric Literature, Carrie V. Mullins says Please, Margaret Atwood, Don’t Write a Sequel to ‘The Handmaid’s Tale’.
In other book news:
- The Women’s Prize has started a series titled Women Writers Revisited, looking at female writers who’ve been forgotten or overlooked. First up is Helen Waddell by the prize’s co-founder, Kate Mosse
- Alison Flood reports on poet Amy Lowell and Dr Hannah Roche’s findings that Lowell may have been an unacknowledged influence on Ted Hughes and D.H. Lawrence in The Guardian
- Naomi Alderman writes on leaving Orthodox Judaism behind in The Guardian, as the film based on her debut novel Disobedience is released
- Jenny Bhatt writes about the difficulties involved in ‘Emerging’ as a Writer – After 40 on Longreads
- Sophie Mackintosh writes Marooned on ‘Love Island’ as part of the New York Times’ Modern Love series about watching Love Island as a coping mechanism when her partner was diagnosed with cancer
- Sarah Kasbeer writes Falling for My Booty Call on Longreads [cw: rape and domestic violence]
- Octavia Bright writes On Margate Sands about her recovery from alcoholism on Somesuch Stories
- Lacy M. Johnson writes On Likeability on Tin House [cw: rape]
- Ellena Savage writes Yellow City in the Paris Review [cw: rape]
- Lyz Lenz writes I’m a Great Cook. Now That I’m Divorced, I’m Never Making Dinner for a Man Again in Glamour
- Jen Hyde writes Looking Inside My Heart about meeting the women who made her new heart valve on Longreads
- Bix Gabriel asks What Do I Gain From Citizenship—And What Do I Lose? on Catapult
- Joy Lazendorfer writes My Year of Smoke: Finding Echoes of Frankenstein in the California Fires which is a hybrid personal essay/book commentary/climate change piece on Literary Hub
- Viv Smythe writes I’m credited with having coined the word ‘Terf’. Here’s how it happened in The Guardian
- Kerry Hudson writes I’ve never felt so truly understood as when I read this UN report on poverty in The Pool. Hudson’s one of our best, and by that I mean sharpest and most compassionate, writers on poverty and the effects of austerity
- Khushbu Shah tells us How Wellness Influencers Made Indian Food a Trend on Healthyish
- Amy Brady writes Encountering Beauty and the Effects of Climate Change in Acadia National Park on Catapult, which is better than anything you’ll read by JFranz about birds and the effects of climate change
Film, Television, Music, Art, Fashion and Sport:
- Doreen St. Félix writes about the impact of Missy Elliott’s“Supa Dupa Fly” as part of the Touchstones series in The New Yorker, while Amanda Petrusich writes on Janet Jackson’s “Rhythm Nation 1814”
- Rachel Syme writes How Britney Spears Built a Billion-Dollar Business Without Selling a Single Record in InStyle
- Caitlin Moran and her daughters interview Matty Healy, lead singer of The 1975 in The Times. As much a piece about female teenage fandom as it is about Healy.
- Kelsey McKinney, Home Field Disadvantage, on Longreads, looks at the lack of serious investment in women’s baseball
- Madeline Lucas profiles Brigid Hughes, the first female editor of the Paris Review, on Literary Hub
- Lila Shapiro interviews N.K. Jemisin, the only writer to win the Hugo Award for best novel in three consecutive years, on Vulture
- Jennifer Baker interviews Chaya Bhuvaneswar on Electric Literature