It’s me, Suchandrika Chakrabarti!
I’m now on Clubhouse - find me @suchandrika
Reply to this newsletter or email me: firstname.lastname@example.org
I took last weekend off - I felt written out after working on a life-writing piece and the old novel. Back to it this week, though…
I’ve spent a lot of this pandeminium enjoying Facebook groups that are all about sharing vintage photographs of New York before 1990. Here’s a beauty, and it feeds right into the first article that caught me this week, Rivka Galchen’s apparent love letter to her Manhattan neighbourhood (her apartment is perched over the entrance to the Lincoln Tunnel, hence this pic) that, to me, is something more complex: wishing she could see how her daughter will look back on this time.
Pre-dawn traffic heads toward the Lincoln Tunnel, New York City, 1983
(Photographer: Andy Levin)
“Now my child is a native New Yorker,” says Galchen as she ends the piece. “The pandemic will be over one day. She will again make her way up a very crowded Eighth Avenue. New businesses will open. Maybe, years from now, she will wonder what happened to these irreplaceable days.”
Her article collided beautifully for me with this one on the 20th anniversary / birthday / memeday of the All Your Base Are Belong To Us meme, by Bijan Stpehen:
“Watching it now, 20 years later, the thing that stands out to me most is how culturally dated the video feels. It’s from the era of internet culture when the whole joke was getting the reference; back then, the internet was much harder to access and not the kind of culture-defining trend machine it eventually became.”
This newsletter is in two parts because I want to gather my thoughts on why they go together - I’ll write about that next time.
Hello from the future! Here is Part 2
A sweet, incredibly painful true story about falling in love, told after one of them dies far too soon:
“Was it worth it?” I said as we tumbled out of the bar, into the late night summer air. “Showing up for just one dance?”
“Oh,” he said, pushing his dark hair back from his face. “Absolutely.”
Maybe the internet has been reading us all along: “Here's a shortlist of those who realized that I — a cis woman who'd identified as heterosexual for decades of life — was in fact actually bi, long before I realized it myself recently: my sister, all my friends, my boyfriend, and the TikTok algorithm.”
On how sitcoms keep trying to portray grief, even though the medium is simply not meant for it: “This is not to say that death is more of a laughing matter these days but rather to surmise that there are many more people who can relate to the absurdity of grief that were in the audience back then.”
I will read anything about the falling-apart of The Wing, inject it into my veins!!
Here’s a spoof Insta account by a 'plant-based' agony aunt named Cynthia, who reminds me of Mrs Mills in The Sunday Times Styles:
I’m one of the hosts for this Clubhouse event, an unofficial London Writer’s Salon spin-off:
The Sunday Salon | Let’s talk about Identity & Social Media
Also related: Clubhouse’s Inevitability
Due to popular demand, the London Writer’s Salon has scheduled an extra date for the personal essays masterclass on Weds 24th March, and you can find tickets on Eventbrite:
Suchandrika @SuchandrikaCThe Feb personal essays masterclass is sold out, so we’ve scheduled another one for March - will announce date soon! https://t.co/2swQKzX8ZV
Here’s a short thread of testimonials for the class:
I’m updating my list of top personal essays, if you have a suggestion, hit the comment button below or reply to this email:
Suchandrika @SuchandrikaCWhich essays or writers are missing from this list? I'd love to hear your recommendations... #personalessays #amwriting https://t.co/ZytmJZylLc
I read an advance review copy of Megan Nolan’s upcoming novel Acts of Desperation - it’s out on 4th March - and her latest personal essay will give you a good sense of what it’s about
“All my best short stories are the last chapter of a novel I didn’t write,” Neil Gaiman reporting the words of one of his favourite writers, Roger Zelazny. I’ve been gifted a week’s guest pass to MasterClass, so I’m trying to rattle through as many courses as possible! On the list: Shonda Rhimes, Joyce Carol Oates, Margaret Atwood, Roxane Gay…
I’ve been thinking about the two main English translations of one of my favourite poems, and how they differ, and why:
Thank you so much for reading!
I’m a freelance journalist, podcaster and comedian based in London, England.
You can find me over on Twitter and Instagram and YouTube and - yeah, that’s plenty.
If you enjoy my work & fancy buying me a virtual coffee, I’d be delighted (and will hopefully experience a virtual caffeine rush):