Not only has he read her essay before publication — when he wrote his own essay for The Irish Times in , he sent it to Pine for her approval. I solemnly said the words. But inwardly I knew that I would do the opposite. The second essay, From the Baby Years , charts the gruelling process of trying and failing to conceive and the pain of miscarriage.
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The mood is different and it is perhaps more introspective yet equally raw and harrowing. I saw the shock on their faces, the tiredness in their eyes, the extraordinary range of emotions provoked by the new person they had made. And I saw the love. There is a lot to digest here: the love, the disappointment, the acceptance.
Interestingly, hospitals are in the foreground again. We see hospitals from a different angle, several angles in fact. Pine becomes aware again of the chilling division between public and private medical care. A pattern in which I am not taken seriously, or we are not taken seriously. Or not seriously enough.
I mean you look Martina Evans.
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Sat, Jul 21, , First published: Sat, Jul 21, , More from The Irish Times Books. Sponsored Making the move to low carbon heating. Planning for Brexit is more urgent than ever. How pioneering CMOs are changing the rules of marketing. Subscriber Only. My own essay collection came out in and I still have a lexiconic knowledge of all the bad reviews I received. Every negative or lukewarm review has made me mad, and forced me to get off my computer and do a few laps around the block until I could get back to work.
Critique comes with being an author — and critique about personal writing can feel particularly weaponized, since that writing is fundamentally intimate and revealing. But you also have the option of not putting yourself through all this, again and again. Part of the writing process is sharing the writing with an audience. Now 32, Hale lives in Los Angeles with her husband, the TV writer and humorist Simon Rich, and their 2-year-old daughter in an internet teetotaler's dream.
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Hale sent her a pitch about Goodreads and the response to her first book. The fact that an article I had written for the Guardian generated five years of news — it's pretty insane. Thompson figures. The two wrists seemed uneven. So I tried to even them out. After her self-harming, Hale spent two weeks at a psychiatric hospital. Though she and her publisher stand behind the collection, Hale has done remarkably little press, book touring, or any kind of marketing blitz for Kathleen Hale Is a Crazy Stalker. Users on Goodreads are still holding on to their anger, and reviews on the site have been particularly brutal.
And I think that says a lot about where we are as a culture. But for all the anxiety that Hale feels about her personal safety, her actions made a lot of reviewers and bloggers feel similarly afraid.
The site is no longer up. Why now? Did you think enough time had passed that people have forgotten, that [they] think of it now as a joke, as something we can all have a laugh about? It's one of six essays and I write about lots of things in the essay — and altogether, it's a meditation on the internet and obsession and animals and being a woman and stuff like that. I knew that people were going to be upset that I had been allowed to publish anything, much less a collection that included this one controversial essay which is one of six essays.
But Hale, ultimately, is her own worst enemy, the reason she got into this mess to begin with. Her return to the literary world is neither a bombastic refusal to apologize nor a self-effacing apology and plea to be let back into the room. I have written about the alt-right , Trump supporters , and how dumb movies are , and nothing has made me more nervous than writing about Goodreads, book bloggers, and Hale. No writer with any aspirations to write books wants to piss off an influential community whose respect you not only want, but need for commercial success.
Nor do I, frankly, want to piss off Hale, whose influential family includes a successful humor writer husband , a television producer father-in-law , and a HarperCollins executive editor mother-in-law. Hale, through her publicist, refused to answer any questions about her family, namely whether they helped or hindered her return to publishing. While working on this story, I also found it remarkably difficult to find sources who would talk to me.
Hale only agreed to speak to me if the critics quoted in the piece were willing to publish their real names.
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Remarkably few people answered my repeated requests for comment, even people who had, in the past, written about Hale and the controversy surrounding her initial essay. Twitter, Goodreads, and other book blogs are necessary places for people to talk about books. But they can also be toxic and cloistered. At the beginning of the year, YA Twitter drove an up-and-coming author to cancel the publication of her own book after the book was accused of being racist. The author ended up reversing her position , and Blood Heir is expected this November. So far, it has an impressive 4. The Black Witch by Laurie Forest initially tanked after Goodreads reviewers accused her book of being offensive and dangerous.
In her Vulture piece on the toxic YA book scene , Kat Rosenfield wrote about the challenges of even reporting on the topic. Even more complicated is that Hale seems much more fragile over the phone than she comes off in her writing. She still talks as if everyone is out to get her for reasons that are entirely unclear. Hale is a conventionally attractive white woman from a privileged family in America, not exactly an obvious target for online persecution by, overwhelmingly, other white women.
Especially on Twitter, women, people of color, non-binary people, and otherwise marginalized communities are disporportionately harassed by anonymous trolls, who in turn experience little to no real consequences for their actions. After our first interview, Hale emailed me asking to clarify some things in a second call. She had also recorded our interview, and said that after listening back to it, she wanted to add a few thoughts.
I agreed, and we set up a time and date, but 20 minutes before we were scheduled to talk, her publicist got in touch to cancel the interview. Later, he sent me a statement from Hale as a Word document.
Her reticence is odd given that she chose to publish this book. No one forced her to do it. And no one forced her to include that essay from five years ago that nearly ruined her life. Kathleen Hale Is a Crazy Stalker is not, in my estimation, a bad book.
Notes to Self: Essays by Emilie Pine – Startling essays on addiction, infertility and rape
His punishment , a decade behind bars , she told me, was enough. It is impossible to side entirely with anyone in the case of Hale v.
YA bloggers have compared Hale to UK writer Richard Brittain , who traveled from England to Scotland to hit a young woman over the head with a bottle after she gave his book a bad review.