If you are a writer, and one day find yourself in a classroom with other adults, learning a foreign language, you will not be able to help yourself. You will inevitably—joylessly, even—start to narrate the activities happening around you in the voice of David Sedaris. It will sneak up on you, this tendency, until you are […]
Tag Archives: Writing
I am currently reading Pulphead, a collection of essays and magazine journalism from the pen of John Jeremiah Sullivan. I’m about halfway through, and I have already come to an awful realisation: I must never meet Mr Sullivan. If I do, I will probably babble, try and kiss his hands and maybe cry a little. […]
In the name of the Printing Press, the Commissioning Editor and The Glorious Sub, Please, let someone get pregnant this year. Let someone take a lengthy sabbatical. Let someone decide to retrain as a teacher or hairdresser because it’s what they’ve always wanted to do. Let someone take some time away to finish That Book. […]
I live in a small and perfectly formed flat in east London. Yes, I know: a writer who lives in Hackney. In my defence, I do not own a cat (or a sausage dog), I have never left the house with a ‘hipster topknot’, I cannot ride a bike nor do I own one, and […]
I just finished Girls In White Dresses. It could easily have been called ‘White Girls In White Dresses’ or even ‘Lena Dunham’s White Girls’ or ‘HBO’s White Girls In Dresses’… I think you get the point here.
No two ways about it, I’ve been pretty terrible about posting this past month. No Friday Pretty, no random side-eye London encounter, no essays, nothing. What can I say? Life got in the way. A snapshot of that life below: In summary: shoes! lots of nail varnish, a bit of ankle as the weather turned […]
At the risk of sounding like a media wanker, I often get emails from young and/or aspiring journalists asking me for general advice on getting into journalism. Because they have sought my wise words, I get to rant about how things have changed since I was a young ‘un (I still am, I guess, but […]
After the Commonwealth Lecture given by Chimamnda Ngozi Adichie at the Guildhall a couple of weeks back that I was introduced to someone. “We were just speaking about you,” said the person making the introduction, as she tapped another woman on the shoulder. The woman turned to me. “You’re funny!” she said. “When are you going […]
When I hear women talk about their bodies – and it is something that we all seem to do, however enlightened we are – I find myself having to bite my tongue often. This is down to two things: I am in the privileged population, body-wise. I am slim, have proportionately large breasts, and long […]
With the shock passing of Whitney Houston this past weekend (I wrote something about her for the Guardian here), it’s been the perfect time for the media to showcase their spectacular ignorance/laziness when it comes to the identification of black and ‘urban’ performers.
Below the jump is an essay about my recent dental surgery. I’ve had three procedures in the last month or so; each one has felt like being stabbed in the face by one of the Nazgûl. My next appointment is in February 2012, when I hope the prognosis will be positive. Who knows, maybe I’ll […]
For the last few months, I have been thinking and vaguely discussing with my sister the idea of ‘something more than an oral history of Nigerians in Britain.” We all know Olaudah Equiano (hold tight, Nigerians in pre-1800 UK – braaap!) but how much do we know about the lives of British Nigerians over the […]
Hey, y’all. Last week, at a literary night called ‘Letters You Never Sent’, I read out a letter to a roomful of strangers (and a few friends). It was the first time I’ve ever read any of my fiction in public, to a paying audience (eek!) and I enjoyed it very much – thank God […]
I’m currently in a job which gives me Fridays off. I’m so grateful for it – as well as having a designated day of non-work writing, it allows me to have a lie-in on a weekday (woo!), and I get to do the necessary-but-boring stuff like paying bills and returning library books.
A simple invitation to dinner is always a turning point in my friendships. It is when I reveal the complex knot of food neuroses I have collected over the years, which means it is the point where I either alienate a friend or find a kindred spirit. And so, I’ve written a short essay about […]