Last weekend, I spent 5 hours trudging through a barren wasteland with a father “the man” and his son “the boy”, watching them starve, make mistakes, fight and protect each other - and the experience damn near killed me. Making us ask the question: What is more important to us - our lives, or our humanity?
On the first page, we learn that ‘Tequila Leila’ (as she’s known to her friends) is not at home, cuddled up in bed and warm, but instead she lies dead in a metal rubbish bin on the outskirts of Istanbul - a city which lives and breathes its own personality as loudly as the characters that live within it. We feel immediate devastation that this woman, a person who Elif describes with intimate detail, has met her end here. As Leila herself says: “She could not believe that her mortal existence was over and done with [...] Last night she had left her fingerprints on a whisky glass …”
It'll change you, if you let it. Content warnings for rape, misogyny, abuse, eating disorders. A bit of backstory: I’m a writer who spends more time on YouTube than she spends reading books. T’isn’t good, my dudes, and it’s a bad habit. But I can’t be too mad, because without it I never would have discovered … Continue reading Poetry collection review: ‘If my body could speak’ by Blythe Baird