Lucy Ellman “Things are Against Us”

This is the first collection of essays by Booker-shortlister & Goldsmiths Prize-winning author of the brilliant Ducks, Newburyport. Some of the essays in Things are Against Us ( Pan Macmillan India) have been previously published but a fair number are unpublished.

These are a fantastic collection of honest, very blunt, sharp, informative and extremely funny essays. The humour stems from Ellman’s delicious ability to call a spade a spade. She does not mince words. She provokes. Her wit is spot on. She may as well be a stand-up comedian in her ability to hold a mirror to society especially when it comes to the manifestation of patriarchy in relationships.

There are far too many superb examples in the book that are to be shard. But two stand out. One is The Mea Culpa declaration (photographed below) and her essay on tourism that is in many ways reminiscent of Aldous Huxley’s essay on being a tourist. Ellman is also able to share examples from her mother’s work of comparing the male gaze in analysing women writers.

This is an excellent book!

Truly worth reading.

28 Nov 2021

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