This week, a new Maggie Shipstead story at Virginia Quarterly Review explores love, infidelity, and the ways life can slip from under your feet like an avalanche. Bonus: there is also a literal avalanche. The story, “Backcountry,” follows a twenty-five-year-old ski instructor named Ingrid (#1 baby name for future ski instructors) who meets a fifty-plus-year-old married (he tells Ingrid he’s divorced) man with big dreams of building a ski resort on a nearby mountain....more
Posts Tagged: beauty
At Lit Hub, Kathryn Harrison discusses her relationship with her reflection and the asymmetry in her face as she ages:
Time passes, months, then years, and that bathroom mirror loses its power to frighten me. Still, I find it mysterious, and even wonderful, that there would be so stark and irrefutable—so apt—a symptom of nervous breakdown as a failure to recognize one’s own face.
Rachel Vorona Cote writes about how people use beauty to undermine the words of women:
I understood, as I continue to understand with distressing nuance, that too many men navigate the terror of women’s brilliance by reducing them to skin and bone.
Over at Vela Magazine, Rachel Wilkinson explores the cultural significance of women’s hair:
Feminists have often identified hair grooming as the first lesson in gender socialization. Dolls are perfectly designed to aid girls in learning submission, letting them play-act the labor that will later be expected of them when it comes to appearances.
I never recoiled, in that first season, to hear the nice people on the bus say “beautiful baby,” to us in reverent tones. It’s a thanksgiving for safe passage, a prayer for all new defenseless things. But after a few months have passed … faint suggestions of the adult visage emerge.
“Fantasy is not avoidable. The very act of writing fiction is a sin, a lie. One of Disch’s most haunting stories, ‘Getting Into Death,’ is about a writer (one who uses two pseudonyms, at least one of which Disch used himself) who orchestrates her death by fabricating warmth and sentiment toward everyone she has ever known, creating a surfeit of charmingly mawkish moments....more