Ripe

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On the morning of her 49th birthday, Carol Jessop stood naked in front of her full-length mirror and took stock of the situation. As a devoted gym goer, she was generally pleased by what she saw. She’d never had children so her belly was flat and her breasts, though not as round as they once were, resisted hanging on her chest like sacks of sand. Through no effort of her own, her breasts were marvellous. She had won the boob lottery, plain and simple. From the time they began to swell when she was ten to now, they were two in a million. Just last month, after speaking at the city’s literary festival, she was asked by a bearded academic, that if it weren't too much trouble, he’d like to bury his face in her cleavage for a few long seconds. She took him to her room that night, though it tickled, she let him have all the time he wanted there. read more

Overripe Desire

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‘I wish I could subdue the flesh that sadly troubles me…’ So the wonderful and not altogether regretfully still randy John Betjeman in his poem 'Senex'. The autumnal tone manages to combine all the burgeoning and moist and ripe stuff with misty wistfulness. So it is with the ageing process. read more

Account Past-Due

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AUGUST 2020

Late in the workday I’m outside my office fetching nicotine gum from my truck, an errand interrupted by a shiny black Lexus that wheels into the parking lot and takes a vacant space among the employee parking. The driver’s door swings open, followed by sandaled feet and familiar, muscular calves beneath a mid-length brown dress, sleeveless and trimmed with white lace like the summertime clothes my mother might have worn though not fitted so closely. read more

OK, Mr Field

Ok, Mr Field is Faber’s Lead Debut for 2018 and, in both its publication in June and serialisation in The Paris Review, it represents the emergence of what we might call Faber’s Lead Debutante – young author Katherine Kilalea. While Kilalea has had a poetry collection published in 2009 and has received preliminary attention from the Southbank Centre and the mainstream press for her writing, all eyes are very much upon the young South African with this slim but promising first novel. If it were the Gala Ball, she would be preparing to make her grand entrance down the staircase in all pomp and circumstance. You can practically hear the creak of necks being craned. read more

With Liberty and Compersion for All

Compersion is the opposite of jealousy or envy; jealousy being the fear of losing something (or someone) we believe is our own and envy being the pain of not having what one wants. These are both deep-seated evolutionary emotions that have more to do with our fear of not getting enough to eat or being able to procreate with the hottest caveman on the block. Getting over these Neanderthal inclinations is a state of evolution in itself. read more

Marcus

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One reason I get to this Santa Monica Beach Club early is Marcus. He is a bit of Gilbert Roland and Roman Navarro, with spiky hair, amber eyes and deep caramel skin. He has a frisky dancer’s body like Russ Tamblyn. You are too young for this story if you don’t remember who he is. read more

Gift

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Ruth lifted the shoe box from the top of the wardrobe, steadied herself on the back of chair, stepped down and put the box on the bed. She made the journey less often now. Joe had bought the shoes for her 19th birthday. She took them out and ran her fingers over the powder blue leather. Joe was the real gift, with a mouth as ripe as a plum…. read more

The ‘Do Something’ Principle of Sex

Don’t feel like having sex? Tough. Just do it. That’s the whole point here. Because what research has found is that the more sex you have, the more you’ll want to have sex and the happier you’ll become. read more