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Rudolf von Alt – View in the Alservorstadt, 1872 (detail); Albertina, Vienna

What’s New

More Than Bearable: Marian Engel’s Bear.

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Not just about sex with a bear

Bear by Marian Engel was first published in 1976. Despite being rejected by Engel’s first publisher, it went on to win the prestigious Governor General’s Award and, despite the controversy caused by the bestiality in the book, is considered a classic in Canada. Margaret Atwood praises it as “a strange and wonderful book, plausible as kitchens, but shapely as a folktale, and with the same disturbing resonance.” Therefore, Daunt Books are republishing Bear in an effort to bring its curious narrative to a new generation of readers and its off-beat story is sure to pique interest. read more

Fiction

The Train to Paris

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…the stubble on his chin brushed against my cheek. He whispered, “open your trousers and hold your book up.”

I can’t help watching them. The young couple sitting opposite me, travelling backwards on blue seats. They brush the tips of their fingers, upper arms, knees through jeans beneath the grey, plastic table. They speak with intensity, staring at each other’s lips moving. read more

Reviews

More Than Bearable: Marian Engel’s Bear.

by
Not just about sex with a bear

Bear by Marian Engel was first published in 1976. Despite being rejected by Engel’s first publisher, it went on to win the prestigious Governor General’s Award and, despite the controversy caused by the bestiality in the book, is considered a classic in Canada. Margaret Atwood praises it as “a strange and wonderful book, plausible as kitchens, but shapely as a folktale, and with the same disturbing resonance.” Therefore, Daunt Books are republishing Bear in an effort to bring its curious narrative to a new generation of readers and its off-beat story is sure to pique interest. read more

Love & Sex

Bad Sex Matters

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If bad sex is a political issue we must be willing to look at the grey areas.

In a recent fit of anxiety over whether I was doing enough to keep my finger on the pulse of contemporary sex, I signed up for Cosmopolitan’s weekly newsletter called The Thirst. It’s essentially a fluff piece platform to promote an array of sex toys and paraphernalia, but I keep opening it because I’m amused by its focus on sex positions which suggest it’s possible there is an infinite number of ways to pleasure each other with a finite number of appendages and digits. read more

Galleries

Lockdown Love Letters

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An expanding collection of collaged letters, started in the Coronavirus lockdown of 2020. These are mostly large collages made from original envelopes, vintage books, illustrations and some of my own print making.

I am a collage and assemblage artist with a strong interest in storytelling.
I have worked as an artist for 30 years, as well as teaching art and running a gallery in the Yorkshire Dales where I am based. read more

Articles

History Of Pleasure

ARTICLE: Thirteen Facts About Victorian Abortion

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In the wake of the historic Irish Referendum, Laura Ward looks back through past societies at the almost unbelievable obstacles facing women in the UK who sought terminations and the bizarre underground culture that rose around them.

In the wake of the historic Irish Referendum, Laura Ward looks back through past societies at the almost unbelievable obstacles facing women in the UK who sought terminations and the bizarre underground culture that rose around them. Abortion was the only medical procedure to be banned by law read more

Only the missionary-style sexual position is permitted in Washington D.C., all other positions are considered illegal.