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I reviewed After Sappho, by Selby Wynn Schwartz, for 4Columns https://4columns.org/phillips-julie/after-sapphoat a time when I was staying with and helping a beloved older relative and was absorbed in the bodily and emotional intimacy of care. Although I was very aware of that as an aspect of friendship among women, I thought more when I was […]

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“The haunted mansion stands for an abusive partner, the vampire reminds you of your emotionally draining housemate, the alien is you.” I write about the power of the fantastic and the women who imagine it in my review of The Future Is Female! Volume Two, the 1970s: More Classic Science Fiction Stories by Women, edited […]

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I’ve been looking more lately at how writers deal with questions of focus and concentration. In my recent interview with Karen Joy Fowler, I asked her about her process. She told me, “I write very much in fits and starts. And you know, that seemed like a problem to me—it probably is a problem—but I’m too old to fix it now.”

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One of the ways in which mothering has been directly, specifically useful for my writing is that I got to do a lot of reading aloud. I practiced first as a kid, on my younger sister. Later it was something that I loved about having children of my own. So I’m honored that David Naimon […]

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“There’s a saying that there are only two stories: a person goes on a journey and a stranger comes to town. I knew my story: I was the stranger who came to town. But when my children came, I was no longer a stranger, or even at the center of my own story. In this […]

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I finally got to see the amazing Alice Neel show, in San Francisco, with my mother, Kit Phillips, who should have been in the picture with me but was taking it instead. I have two in-person readings coming up. On Tuesday, May 31, at 6pm I’ll be at Elliott Bay Books in Seattle. On Wednesday, […]

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A Room of One’s Own Books in Madison, WI, will host my online book launch on April 27, 6pm US Central Time, in conversation with Chris Kraus, author of the brilliant After Kathy Acker. We’re going to talk about motherhood, not-motherhood, artistic lives, and the art of biography. It’s 1 in the morning Amsterdam time, […]

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Your mileage may vary, but I Ioved A Visit from the Goon Squad and I love Egan’s new book, The Candy House, even more. It keeps verging on being another boring dystopia and then, happily, going off into a much more interesting space. Read more at 4columns.org.

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As soon as The Baby on the Fire Escape comes out, I plan to start working on the biography of Ursula K. Le Guin. After talking to several wonderful editors I recently found homes for that book at Doubleday (US) and Virago (UK). I’m excited to be working with Thomas Gebremedhin and Rose Tomaszewska respectively. […]

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