Can You Tolerate This? Ashleigh Young
SHORTLISTED FOR THE RATHBONES FOLIO PRIZE 2019 WINNER OF A WINDHAM-CAMPBELL PRIZE 2017 ‘I love this book’ MAGGIE NELSON ‘An essay collection unlike any I’ve read’ New York Times In Can You Tolerate This? Ashleigh Young ushers us into her early years, coming of age in a small town in the faraway yet familiar New Zealand, yearning for a larger and more creative life. As Young’s perspective expands, a series of historical portraits – a boy with a rare skeletal disease, a French postman who built a stone fortress by hand, a generation of Japanese shut-ins – strike unexpected personal harmonies, as an unselfconscious childhood gives way to painful shyness in adolescence. As we watch Young fall in and out of love, undertake intense physical exercise that masks something deeper, and gradually find herself through her writing, a highly particular psyche comes into view: curious, tender and exacting in her observations of herself and the world around her.