Charlotte Grimshaw’s The Mirror Book, is an exercise in revisionist history as the author challenges the family narrative spun by her literary father. Professional reviews of the work are enthusiastic and flattering. They praise Grimshaw for her bravery. They recommend her writing as beautiful. She is “peerless,” they say.
As we witness this procession of praise, we are left confused, waiting for someone in the crowd to call out that the emperor isn’t wearing any clothes.
One reviewer suggests that a relatively minor incident in the book is a “must-read” moment. The “jam incident,” as the reviewer refers to it…
It Won’t Make You A Bad Parent
Being pregnant and carrying a child to term is an absolute privilege. It’s an incredible experience — one that has humbled me. I am keenly aware of the fact that not every person who wants to carry a child is able to carry a child. This is, unequivocally, a tragedy. And being mindful of this made me more grateful for my pregnancy and brought me comfort through some of the tougher moments. …
On Tuesday, I celebrated my thirtieth birthday in lockdown. It was not the thirtieth that I had imagined but that didn’t matter. I am privileged to have maintained a pretty lovely life in lockdown. I still have my job and I am learning how to do it (I.E. teach high school students) remotely. It has — undoubtedly — been a challenge, but it has also been good to have something to keep my mind occupied. I share my “bubble” ( — the term we, in New Zealand, are using for our households during the lockdown) with my best friend (and…
Nō hea koe? Kei haere koe ki hea?
Where are you from? Where will you go?
“Prejudices, it is well known, are most difficult to eradicate from the heart whose soil has never been loosened or fertilised by education: they grow there, firm as weeds among stones.”
- Charlotte Bronte (1847).
I am half Pākeha and half Samoan. I was born in Auckland and have lived here for most of my life. My family is relatively well off and I attended a private, all girls, decile 10 school. …
Call-out culture (also known as ‘outrage culture’) is a form of public shaming. When we “call someone out,” we publicly identify their offences and shame or punish them for their behaviour. In some instances, calling people out and boycotting them can be justified and it can be useful (in cases of extreme behaviour, unacceptable intolerances, and those who have platforms and widespread influence).
Calling out (as well as canceling and boycotting) is a way for us to hold people accountable. And when we hold people accountable, we communicate both to that person and to those around us, what is and…
When I was six, I told my mother that I hated her. We were at a theme park and I was too short to ride the Wipeout. Outside the attraction, earnest and full of hope, I stood with my back to the measuring stick— the one that decided whether or not you were “brave” enough to ride, based on your height. I didn’t measure up. My mother, Gail, was the sacrificial messenger of this bad news. “I hate you,” I spat at her. Then, inspired by the drama of the moment, I theatrically stomped my foot and ran to the…
They fuck you up, your mum and dad.
They may not mean to, but they do.
They fill you with the faults they had
And add some extra, just for you.
But they were fucked up in their turn
By fools in old-style hats and coats,
Who half the time were soppy-stern
And half at one another’s throats.
Man hands on misery to man.
It deepens like a coastal shelf.
Get out as early as you can,
And don’t have any kids yourself.
Philip Larkin, “This Be The Verse”
Yesterday morning, as I dragged myself through the routine of packing a lunch that I knew I would not have the pleasure of eating, I realised that I hate my job.
Of course, this was not an entirely shocking revelation — dissatisfaction had been building — but the hatred had arrived earlier than I had anticipated.
My feelings stem, at least in part, from the fact that the work that I thought I was signing up for is significantly different from the work that I do. Arguably, a vast majority of jobs are like this. …