It has been a few months since I last wrote a blog post – I have been learning how to navigate life with a full-time job – but in that time I've tried new craft projects, rediscovered my love of research, and have, of late, been entirely obsessed with Katherine Mansfield.
Ever since her debut novel Solitaire in 2014, I have followed Alice Oseman's writing and artistic journey. Not only a novelist but also a talented comic artist and YouTuber, Oseman has obtained a level of creative success at 23 that is rather hard to comprehend. I Was Born for This is Oseman's third novel. A review.
In 1911, Katherine Mansfield was 23 years old. I have loved her writing ever since I first studied her short stories at the precarious age of seventeen. My English teacher offered us a bite-sized selection to read – Her First Ball, Miss Brill and The Woman at the Store – and enquired afterwards, ‘what do the stories make you feel?’.
During the summer of my first year at Victoria University, I worked alongside my father in the lupin-covered landscape of Ōtūrehua. Home to Brian Turner and little else (population: twenty-seven), the Central Otago ‘so-called middle of nowhere’[i] town had its heyday in the late nineteenth century. Not keen on bringing the populace up to twenty-nine, my father and I rented a cottage in the nearby gold-rush town of Naseby.