An essay on Will Buckingham’s Hello, Stranger: How We Find Connection in a Disconnected World

An essay on Will Buckingham’s Hello, Stranger: How We Find Connection in a Disconnected World

When I was reading the first chapter of Will Buckingham's book (released in July 2021), I picked up a couple of texts, one by one, that helped me with meaning-making. This is something I suppose many readers do, when untangling the puzzle of an unfamiliar mind. We need known books to sit side-by-side, with the [...]

How Fillipino artist Anina Rubio challenges consumer culture

How Fillipino artist Anina Rubio challenges consumer culture

The artist expresses herself using varied disciplines, from murals to digital art. We find her channeling the negative energy she feels about consumer culture, into something positive.Using the varying lens of anti-establishment philosophers such as Gilles Deleuze and Jean-Francois Lyotard, Anina Rubio’s artwork can be seen as thrillingly postmodern. In twentieth-century philosophy, it was predicted [...]

An essay on John Baxter’s French Riviera and its Artists.

An essay on John Baxter’s French Riviera and its Artists.

From reading F. Scott Fitzgerald's romantic depictions in Tender is the Night to becoming hooked on the contemporary television series Riviera, I have been addicted to the tales of artists and writers living in the South of France for years. This book is an incredible feat by John Baxter, and one that has been written [...]

An essay on Mylène Desclaux’s Why French Women Feel Young at Fifty.

An essay on Mylène Desclaux’s Why French Women Feel Young at Fifty.

Picking up this tongue-in-cheek guide to navigating ageing, I imagined to read something designed to fill women with confidence. The results were somewhat mixed. Mylène Desclaux - what a beautiful name - suggested hiding your real age from people at all times. This made me think of my ex-landlady Colette, who was proud of her [...]

An Essay on Catherine Hewitt’s The Mistress of Paris.

An Essay on Catherine Hewitt’s The Mistress of Paris.

Ah, the French in the nineteenth century. An era for Parisian women unlike no other - and this book explores the turbulent time period beautifully. Even with the citizens of the capital so insistent on a cool insouciance in the streets, Hewitt depicts an under-layer of ferocious passion towards cultivating society's manners and taste. Young [...]

The toolkit to thrive abroad

The toolkit to thrive abroad

This piece was written by Cloe Grampa. I decided to move from Italy to the UK seven years ago and with time passing, I realised that there are a few things that have allowed me to thrive while being away from home.  Moving to a new country is an amazing opportunity to discover a new aspect of yourself that otherwise, you would not be able to find at home. It is a challenge, and a lot of the time, it is not easy to find ways to help yourself when you are so far away from your support network.  This topic reminds me of a beautiful quote from the book "The Unbearable Lightness of Being" by Milan Kundera that beautifully describes living abroad: “Being in a foreign country meanswalking a tightrope high above the ground without the net afforded a person by the [...]

Batman doesn’t eat pussy, not even Catwoman’s. Can we applaud the finest hetero lovers in film history, instead?

Batman doesn’t eat pussy, not even Catwoman’s. Can we applaud the finest hetero lovers in film history, instead?

Before DC released the kind of news that has devastated women since at least the second wave of feminism, I have to admit that I had fantasies of dressing up as Catwoman and finding a Batman. He was my favourite of the DC universe, and I even had the old comic books, a 1960s collection [...]

What makes a good sex scene in fiction?

What makes a good sex scene in fiction?

Otherwise, this article could be titled, 'how to avoid your book's only award being for Worst Sex Scene'. This actually happened to a particular Nicholas Royle, lecturer of Creative Writing at Manchester Met. Hilariously, every time my own Sussex lecturer, another Nicholas Royle, introduced himself in class, he made the distinction between the two Nicks. [...]