THwomen40: Profiles

How did your time at Trinity Hall impact on your career?

There must be countless ways that are less visible to me, but one obvious answer is that while at Trinity Hall I met Dr Jane Partner who acted as my Director of Studies at one point and gave supervisions for my Visual Culture module. In her supervisions she introduced me to Robert Fludd, the seventeenth century polymath, in whose work I came across something called “sympathy powder”. This idea, four years after I graduated, became the basis of my first novel. Some things just lodge in your mind and prove useful years later.

Do you have any advice for other women looking to work in your field?

You don’t have to write what you know, but if you do, please know that as a woman, it’s just as valid a subject as anything a man writes about what he knows. CC Rachel Cusk, Jenny Offill, Roxane Gay, Chris Kraus, who believe in the importance of exploring female subjectivity. That, and find a literary agent who wants more female voices to be heard in the world.

What is your greatest career or academic achievement to date?

Finishing my first novel. It feels amazing for about four hours, then you start to hate it.

What advice would you give to your younger self?

Take more risks. Don’t shred all your revision notes after finals.

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