“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 way motherhood, which gave me myself, seemed paradoxically to take away my understanding of myself. I’d become something unknown to me.”

Leeuwarden City of Literature kindly invited me to write a short essay for their project Uitgesteld geluk (‘Happiness Delayed’). My contribution, on self and motherhood, will be read aloud by Marjolein Ley in Noardburgum, Friesland, on Thursday, Aug 11, in a beautiful Dutch version by Elske Schotanus. Afterward it will be published on their website in EN/NL/FR. Thank you to patient and sharp-eyed editor Tryntsje van der Steege, and to Elske for her translations into Dutch and Frisian.

Details here: https://www.leeuwardencityofliterature.nl/en/uitgesteld-geluk/julie-phillips/