I spent the night before my first day of teaching in an excited loop of hushed masturbation on my side of the mattress, never falling asleep. Quite an opening, right? This is how Alissa Nutting’s Tampa begins, plunging the reader straight into the highly sexualised interior monologue of Celeste, a twenty-six year old school teacher. […]


Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD), is the most common personality disorder and one of the most stigmatised mental disorders, yet it is not seen as a serious, legitimate mental illness. Erin Stewart hopes new clinical guidelines on BPD released by the Federal Government will open the door to better recognition and treatment for patients. In March […]


In Australia, eating disorders make up some of the most common chronic illnesses among young women and, of all mental illnesses, they have the highest mortality rate. Erin Stewart asks why, then, is it so hard for sufferers to find help? According to a report released recently by The Butterfly Foundation, more than 900,000 people […]

mad girls love song

One of the most well-known literary couples is Ted Hughes and Sylvia Plath. Hughes, who died in 1998, was a poet and children’s writer, named Britain’s Poet Laureate in 1984. Plath met him in Cambridge during her tenure as a Fulbright scholar, she herself building a successful literary career as a poet and author before […]

silver linings

The new film Silver Linings Playbook, currently showing in Australian cinemas, depicts the reality of bipolar disorder – at least, partially. Bipolar is characterised by alternating periods of depression or mania, and relative stability. At the film’s opening, the main character, Pat, is seen being released from a psychiatric hospital, into the care of his […]


Granta is one of those literary journals you’re told to subscribe to when you study writing. It publishes the full gamut of linguistic genres – poetry, prose, fiction, non-fiction – in quarterly instalments. Usually the writing it features kind of makes a budding writer ashamed to call themselves a ‘writer’ while the understated beauty of […]


When I was in year seven I thought that it would be a good idea to try out for my school’s netball team. I turned up at the gym, the air rich in oestrogen, in my little blue pleated skirt. Growing up, I was always one of the taller kids, so it was assumed that […]


Before there was 50 Shades of Grey, there was Lace. Not that I’ve read 50 Shades (an admission which ironically undermines my status as a reviewer), but you think BDSM is shocking? Shirley Conran, author of Lace, describes it as ‘baby porn’. She shocked everyone with Lace, it’s frank discussions and depictions of sex (from […]

madame bovary

Published in 1856, Gustave Flaubert’s Madame Bovary was kind of obscene for tastes of the time. The book depicts the eponymous Emma Bovary have several affairs. The fact that it was put on trial for obscenity ensured the publication’s success. It became – and has largely stayed – a popular novel. Emma Bovary is a […]


It’s been a big month for Charlotte Dawson. She was hospitalised in late-August after an enormous number of tweets called for her death under the hashtag, #diecharlotte. This was after she had tracked down a Twitter troll, identified her place of work, and called her up to say that her online conduct was appalling. Most […]


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