Can You Tolerate This?
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Winner of the prestigious $200,000 Windham–Campbell Prize and the Ockham New Zealand Book Award for Nonfiction.
The second title in Giramondo’s ‘Southern Latitudes’ series, focusing on innovative fiction and non-fiction by writers of the southern hemisphere.
‘Calling to mind both Joan Didion and Anton Chekhov, Young is relentless in her examination of herself and endlessly curious and compassionate in her consideration of the world. Can You Tolerate This? offers a glimpse into this extraordinarily promising writer’s quest to seek in the small accidents of her individual life the outlines of a much larger reality.’ Windham–Campbell Prize judges’ citation
Can You Tolerate This? is a collection of twenty-one personal essays that tell the story of a young woman growing up in a small New Zealand town and making her way as an adult into the wider world. Young roams freely from preoccupation to preoccupation: the music scenes in regional New Zealand, family relations, eccentric characters, the desire for physical transformation – trying to find some measure of clarity amid uncertainty. How to bear each moment of experience: the inconsequential as well as the shattering? Her essays turn on unlikely connections that reveal strange resonances, shifting perspective with a dry, ironic perception and lightness of wit.