We are so delighted that Lucia Osborne-Crowley, author of the acclaimed I Choose Elena, and Alice Hattrick join us to discuss their new books My Body Keeps Your Secrets and Ill Feelings. Though taking different subjects as their focus, both books offer profound meditations on gender, the body, and literary form.
In My Body Keeps Your Secrets, Osborne-Crowley explores the secrets our bodies keep, from gender identity, to pregnancy or its absence, and to darker secrets of abuse or violation. Through the voices of women and non-binary people around the world, and her own deeply moving testimony, Osborne-Crowley tells the story of the young person’s body in 2021, in a daring and immersive literary form that the author describes as a ‘non-fiction novel’.
Alice Hattrick’s Ill Feelings blends memoir, medical history, biography and literary non-fiction to uncover untold case histories of medically unexplained and invisible illness. Structured around the narrative of the author and their mother’s own ill feelings, Hattrick’s collective biography of illness branches out into the records of ill health women have written about in diaries and letters. Their cast of characters includes Virginia Woolf and Alice James, the poets Elizabeth Barrett Browning and Emily Dickinson, Ruskin’s lost love Rose la Touche, and the artist Louise Bourgeois.