Within this context we invite writer Olivia Sudjic to read from her book Exposure (2018), in which she explores the trope of anxiety within female creativity. The essay positions anxiety – a state of thin-skinnedness and hypervigilance – as holding the potential for an imaginary, or point from which to create. Moving through and alongside her ‘talisman’ authors; Rachel Cusk, Clarice Lispector, Maggie Nelson, Chris Kraus and Elena Ferrante, she documents her own struggles with anxiety, and frames them within a feminist critique of the reception of female authors. Particularly resonant are her illuminating discussions of the ways in which narratives concerning the internal life of women (a politicised position given the lack of public space afforded to women) are often assumed to be autobiographical and negatively positioned as ‘diaristic’, a dismissive charge rarely levelled at male authors. The event will also explore the impact of technology on subjectivity, drawing on her first novel Sympathy (2017).
Olivia Sudjic is a writer living in London. Her work has appeared in publications including The New York Times, Paris Review, Financial Times, Guardian, Vogue and Wired. She is the author of ‘Sympathy’, her 2017 debut novel which was a finalist for the Salerno European Book Award, the Collyer Bristow Prize and translated into numerous languages, and ‘Exposure’, a personal essay exploring anxiety and autofiction, named an Irish Times, Evening Standard and White Review Book of the Year for 2018. Her second novel, ‘Asylum Road’ and an essay collection, ‘Desire Lines’, are forthcoming from Bloomsbury.