Books

I took the package to the post office at Eleventh Street and Fourth Avenue. There was a long line because of the upcoming holidays. As I was standing in line, I saw a sign explaining what kinds of things you couldn’t send via airmail: obviously really hazardous materials like lighter fluid and firearms but also alcohol, perfume, prescription drugs, and tobacco. Hmm, perfume. But my flask was so tiny, and it was all wrapped up in the iPod cozy, plus the package was sturdy and all taped up. I couldn’t imagine the tiny vial would break open, and if it did, there were just a few drops in there—they’d surely evaporate right away. When I got up to the window, the clerk looked humorless. She weighed my parcel and looked me dead in the eye: “Any perfume in there?” I looked her dead in the eye and said no. She put the necessary postage on the package and tossed it into a bin.

Barbara Browning, The Gift

"Of course they are making a fuss, her being drowned and all. It’s a long time since we’ve had a drowning by flood; it’s an important event in this village."

-Barbara Comyns, Who Was Changed and Who Was Dead

"I feared her gaze—she made people feel like the only ones in the room. I wanted to feel fractional."

–Chelsea Hodson, Pity the Animal

“Isabelle pulled me backwards, she laid me down across the eiderdown, lifted me, held me in her arms: she was releasing me from a world I had never lived in to launch me into one I could not yet inhabit. With her lips she parted mine, moistened my clenched teeth. The fleshiness of her tongue frightened me: the foreign sex did not enter. I waited, withdrawn, contemplative. The lips wandered over my lips: a dusting of petals. My heart was beating too loudly and I wanted to listen to this seal of sweetness, this soft new tracing. Isabelle is kissing me, I tell myself.”

Violette Leduc, Thérèse and Isabelle

"I want to make my work invisible because then I can feel more powerful than those who overlook it. Cannier. Slippery. A rich witch. A ghost."

— Charlotte Shane, Prostitute Laundry