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Anne Townsend

@ Sunday Times Books LIVE

The New Normal (March 2018)

1. When a relative becomes ‘the perpetrator’.

2. When a deceased aunt turns into ‘the enabler/spouse of the perpetrator.’

3. When siblings are referred to as ‘the enablers who refuse to cooperate.’

4. When you wake up at 2am, sit up next to the cricket that now lives in your home, and you think: Botha’s Daughter. That’s the name of the (next) book.

5. When you take leisurely walks along the onion fields, past the labourers’ cottages and the laundry flapping in the wind, and you think:  Installation Art: (Clean) laundry, sprinklers, the winds of change. Winding roads. (Could we get a helicopter to film this as part of a documentary on Incest?)

6. When ‘Incest’ is ‘your word’ for 2018. You use it, daily, often more than once. It slips into conversation, and almost no one notices, or minds.

7. When it ceases to be a problem if no one else gets or hears your word. They will, eventually, or not. Either way, you hear it.

8. When you have no idea what you’ll be doing one to three months down the line, and you’ve been living this way for years now.

9. When you follow your gut even when you have no idea why it’s telling you what it’s telling you to do. You just do it. It makes sense eventually.

10. When Augusten Burroughs, Ronan Farrow, Natalie Goldberg and Martha Beck are family. They are tribal kin. They are your support.

TYLH (4)TYLH (3)TYLH (4)

Photo Credit: AnneTownsend


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