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Literary Collections Essays

On Interiors

by (author) Mireille Silcoff

Initial publish date
Sep 2023
Essays, Criticism, Personal Memoirs, General
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    Publish Date
    Sep 2023
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A wide ranging, intensely personal essay covering everything from open plan architecture and nineteenth=century decor crazes to invisible illness, childhood hardship, and the “original home” of the female body, On Interiors is an alternately swashbuckling and deeply felt ode to the places we call home. In something like a controlled careen, Silcoff coasts from the “obscene drama” of her own “always dying” body to the blandness of Millennial design, from the joy of post-divorce middle aged sex, to the “orgasmic maximalism” rising through pandemic-era shelter magazines, from menopause to antiques, fragile masculinity to “stupidly enormous steel appliances in kitchens.” “I am a woman,” she begins, “with a confining body who has been confined to a home more than I have been any other thing. In my life, I have been home as much as I have been woman. I see myself as a kind of feminine expert in cloisterment.”

About the author

Mireille Silcoff is the founding editor of Guilt & Pleasure Quarterly, a magazine of new Jewish writing and ideas, and is the author of three books about drug and youth culture. She is a lead columnist with Canada's National Post and a frequent contributor to the New York Times Magazineand other publications. She lives in Montreal, and in addition to completing this collection she is working on a memoir about her rare chronic illness.

Mireille Silcoff's profile page

Editorial Reviews

Praise for Mireille Silcoff

"Silcoff captures the profound insight that comes when life is pared down to what is essential: the fierce and sometimes absurd ephemeral beauty that can bloom unexpectedly, even when one is grappling with physical agony."
―The Walrus

"Silcoff's keen observations ... are laid down on the page like little gems of uncommon brilliance and depth."
—Quill and Quire

"Silcoff’s wonderful descriptive observations have, unsurprisingly perhaps, a pensive, unrushed quality … these stories feel generous, expansive."
—Globe and Mail

Praise for the Field Notes series

“A clear-eyed assessment of the links between property, policing, and the subjugation of Black people ... Walcott’s analysis of the ways in which white supremacy is baked into the legal systems of Canada and the U.S. is stimulating. Progressives will embrace this well-conceived call for change.”
—Publishers Weekly

“Running a brief but far-reaching and punchy 96 pages, On Property has an absolute certainty of purpose: calling for the abolition of private property ownership ... [If] statements such as ‘the problem of property is resolved through its removal’ or calls to ‘abolish everything’ can make some people quake, when Walcott’s pamphlet argues for the human ability to reconsider and rebuild societal structures, the stances come across as sensible and, better yet, doable.”
Toronto Star

"Rinaldo Walcott locates his contribution to the Field Notes series on current issues, On Property, in the present political moment, while using historical references and events to argue for the abolition of police and property ... Walcott concludes his case by asking for a new ethics of care and economy that does not keep feeding into the incarceration system, a system rigged to continue Black suffering ... It is a question we must ask ourselves after reflecting on the ways in which we, too, are complicit."
Quill & Quire

"Kingwell offers a slender, thoughtful, sometimes meandering disquisition on risk that “is inflected (or infected) by the virus, but not precisely about the virus—except as it grants new urgency to old questions of risk and politics. A host of cultural allusions—from Shakespeare to the Simpsons, Isaiah Berlin to Irving Berlin, Voltaire, Pascal, and Derrida—along with salient academic studies inspire Kingwell to examine the many contradictory ways that humans handle risk ... An entertaining gloss on an enduring conundrum."
Kirkus Reviews

“Urgent, far-reaching and with a profound generosity of care, the wisdom in On Property is absolute. We cannot afford to ignore or defer its teachings. Now is the time for us-collectively-to take up the challenge in this undeniable gift of a book.”
—Canisia Lubrin, author of The Dyzgraphxst and Voodoo Hypothesis

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