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Sunday, June 30, 2019

‘I Was Done With All the Silences’: How an Academic Got Personal in ‘Notes to Self’ | Books - The New York Times

John Williams, The New York Times writes, Reviewing Emilie Pine’s “Notes to Self” in The Irish Times, Martina Evans wrote: “It’s the kind of book you want to give to everyone, especially young women and men, so that we can learn together to take ourselves and each other more seriously.”

“I wrote it quickly, over the course of a year. Or you could say it took me 40 years to write it,” said Emilie Pine of her new book “Notes to Self.”
Photo: Patricia Wall/The New York Times

A lot of readers must have taken her advice, because the essay collection became the No. 1 best-selling book in Ireland, where Pine is an associate professor of modern drama at University College Dublin. Pine had written academic books before, but the subject matter and the perspective in “Notes to Self” were a radical departure. She writes in these six essays about the effect of her father’s alcoholism on her family, her unsuccessful attempts to have a baby, menstruation, body image and sexual violence. Her tone is both frank and measured, confessional and confidently self-contained. Below, Pine talks about the “volcanic pressure” she felt to write these things, her surprising connections with readers and more...

Persuade someone to read “Notes to Self” in 50 words or less.
I was done with all the silences around women’s lives and bodies, so I wrote the book that I wanted — that I needed — to read. It was my way of processing, and possessing, the hardest parts of my life; it was my way of making something joyful out of pain.