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Megan Nolan is a writer of essays, criticism and fiction born in Ireland and based in London. She writes a fortnightly column for the New Statesman.
The pharmacist looked confused and told me, “It’s free.”
Had I really wandered around weeping to “How Can I Tell You” by Cat Stevens over a man I’d met perhaps three times?
More free time and less financial hardship would mean that holidays would cease to be the only source of pleasure.
The Butcher Boy, published in 1992, was a turning point for Irish literature.
When women perform pain it is seen as grotesque and manipulative. When a man does, it’s cathartic escape from what they usually are.
A desire to change your body could drag all of that history back.
In the cases of Peter Sutcliffe and the Wests the terrible privacy of the family is apparent, the possibility that it could cloak monstrosity.
Hjorth’s precision becomes a quietly devastating mimicry of the effects of trauma, and of ambiguous and conflicting memories.
A few years ago brash, sensationalist personal essays were booming, but good first-person writing has much to teach us about suffering, forgiveness and redemption.
He saw people like the ones he knew – market traders, small-town people – on the stage, and said to himself, “I’m going to do that.”