Author: Katie Goh

Man Booker Prize 2017: The Lonely City in Zadie Smith’s ‘Swing Time’

Swing Time is all about the double. In Zadie Smith’s fifth and Man Booker long-listed novel, countries, cities, friends, and narratives mirror one another however their reflections distort like shattered glass. Rooted, as most of Smith’s novels are, in a North West London estate, Swing Time follows two girls who meet in a dance class. Twin images, they have the same skin colour – “as if one piece of tan material had been cut to make us both”[1] – and share a disenchantment with their home lives and a passion for the history of dance. Titled after the 1938...

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‘Secret Life of Humans’: Philosophy, Anthropology, and Theatre

Secret Life of Humans Pleasance Courtyard (Venue 33) Until Aug 27 at 16:30 Box Office Adults £11.50 / Concessions £10.00 Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind, Yuval Noah Harari’s bestselling non-fiction book which everyone and their dad read on holiday in 2011 has been adapted, not into a television series or documentary as one might expect, but into a theatrical stage production. Taking a non-fiction history book which chronicles the trials and tribulations of our species and adapting it into Secret Life of Humans, a play with a plot, characters, and a social setting is not an obvious choice...

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She’s Got the Power: Naomi Alderman’s ‘The Power’ and Empowerment Feminism

The Power – winner of the 2017 Baileys Women’s Prize for Fiction and critically lauded as The Handmaid’s Tale for the millennial generation – is a dystopian novel that imagines a world where women, particularly young girls, develop an electrical power that has the ability to maim, heal, or kill. Our contemporary social structure, the patriarchy, founded on the idea that men are physically stronger than women and thus the dominant sex, is inverted as women become physically more capable than men and gender roles become reversed. Like Charlotte Perkins Gilman’s Herland (1915), which imagines an Amazonian, all- women...

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Hunger Made Me a Modern Girl: Food and Femininity in ‘Raw’ and ‘The Vegetarian’

“Nope nope nope,”[1] said the tabloids, disgusted, “French horror film Raw has inspired such extreme reactions from viewers that cinemas have had to start providing sick bags.”[2] Hyperbolic and wildly inaccurate, the press surrounding Julia Ducournau’s Raw would suggest a gratuitous slasher movie à la Halloween (1978) or A Nightmare on Elm Street (1984). You’d be disappointed to discover that Raw is actually a nuanced depiction of sexuality, identity politics, and, well yes, cannibalism – more David Lynch than Wes Craven. Raw follows Justine, a young woman who arrives at a prestigious French veterinary school and whose only desire...

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