Personal essays

Here’s my latest piece for Aeon – an essay on sisterly love and rivalry.

I had a wee piece published in Hinterland, a lovely quarterly magazine that published creative nonfiction. It’s called Waiting for God. You can read it only if you subscribe.

In February this year I had an essay published by Aeon, The Joy of Intimacy, which looks at my personal experience of being the daughter of a philanderer and how it has impacted my relationships, with wider questions about how we view intimacy in our more permissive society, and the emergence of non-monogamy and polyamory. It was Aeon’s most popular essay of the month with 45,000 + views.

My essay ‘The Lost Children’, is a piece I wrote a long time ago, and almost published with Granta (though they took The Fog and the Sea see below, instead). After a significant rewrite it found the perfect home with aeon. It’s about my experience of being the daughter of a follower of Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh, and when I watched the Netflix documentary Wild Wild Country, I was struck by how little has been written from the child’s point of view. Those who had not necessarily chosen this alternative life. You can read it here:


Here is my latest publication with Mechanic’s Institute Review, a wonderful online and print magazine that is run by Birkbeck staff, students and alumni. I’m very proud that they’ve published Walking Circles, as part of a new drive to publish creative nonfiction. It’s about a day at the Connaught Hotel and the moment my father lost everything. Read it here:


I wrote a short piece about raving in the 1990s, and the horror of taking too many drugs. You can read it here:

My latest piece in Granta is part of my memoir. It’s Only Skin is made up of two pieces I wrote separately and then stitched together. In one I was interested in exploring the power dynamic between artist and model, and in the other I was looking at how we might learn from an early age to dissociate from situations that cause us harm. I realised they were both connected, and the result was this. Hope you enjoy it:


A few years ago, I sent a few of my personal essays out to journals, and woke up one Saturday to find that London’t Litro Magazine had featured one as their #Essay Saturday. It’s one of a series of personal pieces I am writing on my PhD. You can read it here:


Carolyn Jess Cooke asked me some years ago to be involved with her wonderful Arts Council-funded project, Writing Motherhood. I was invited to speak on panels at literary festivals about the effect motherhood has had on my writing, and I wrote a short piece called the Mutable Bed, which was then published in this anthology (Seren). You can buy it here.


A couple of years ago, Granta magazine published a creative nonfiction piece I wrote about my father’s losing battle with alcoholism. You can read it here: