The current I-want-to-get-to-these-next portion of my TBR pile. We’ll see how it goes.
The tremendous emphasis placed on having “A Relationship” with a capital R — and “Defining the Relationship” — sometimes seems to lead people to devalue all other kinds of intimate connection, and lovers to treat one another worse than necessary. I like to think that all human interactions put us into relations with one another. And all relationships end — even if they last until death. That does not make them “a waste.”
The cultural script that says that life, particularly female life, is still defined by a search for “The One” encourages us to devalue relationships that are crucial to our thriving — friendships and other forms of intimate connection. You see this in romantic movies and all kinds of pop culture representations — where, for example, your friends are a focus group you can dissolve once you have a mate.
People are as preoccupied with stories about their working lives as they are with their diets, hence why we see stories like the French email ban, the six-hour working day and even the Manhattan court typist repeatedly typing, “I hate my job” instead of working going viral: because most of us would like to work less but don’t feel we live in a secure enough economy and position to say or do so. Even if your boss doesn’t explicitly encourage you to be staring at the lit screen your iPhone from under your duvet at 2 a.m., there’s an implicit fear that if you don’t reply to emails and other colleagues do, you would be a shirker, someone not pulling your weight.I’m really grateful to work somewhere that doesn’t have this kind of work culture — I’ve seen what it’s done to people close to me.
I saw those people there and we were on an equal playing field. They didn’t pay for their books either. We weren’t getting charity; we were just using the library.
I think it would have felt harsh, if we hadn’t had that. It would have made life a little bit colder.
There’s something about libraries which transcends even a love of books. They’re about a sense of society and your community.
I know it sounds cheesy, but it’s true. It’s why the notion of libraries being free is essential. Because every community has — should have — a spread of incomes. Schools are no longer that melting pot; they’re not, they’re separated out more and more, with private education and grammar schools. But the local library can be that shared space, and maintained to the age of eighteen, at least.
[O]ne of the questions that I started with was, okay, who would you risk that much for? Who would you be willing to stand against Hell itself, or the collected might of Faerie, or something great and terrible, with odds that you would almost certainly not survive? Like, that is a powerful amount of love. And it’s not that I don’t believe that a pair of lovers could have that sort of connection, but that’s a story that gets told a lot—almost every “I’m going to walk into Hell, and I am taking my person back out with me” is a story about lovers.
But when I asked myself that question, the first person that came to mind was my sister. She was diagnosed with a rare form of cancer when we were teenagers. And she survived—she’s a beautiful, amazing human—but I remember feeling so helpless at the time, because this was someone I loved so much, and would have done anything for, and all I could do was stand by. And so when I knew I wanted to write this story, I knew I wanted to put a pair of sisters at the heart of it.