Patricia Lockwood, 12 August 2021
Here is what it is: no force on earth will keep a writer’s preoccupations out of their fiction. You are not necessarily looking for them, but you find them every time. There you are in your octagon, holding a glass of whisky in one hand and working one foot into the fur of a bear, when the fire lights up the primal line. That is what I am waiting for, I am waiting to see scarves on page ten of one book and page 56 of another and then one line in the letters and then there is Marian Engel, the person, not an apparition but a body of desire, playing dressing-up in front of the old pier glass mirror. Continuing to want what she always wanted: for life to make art. ‘A world. I wanted a world; yes, that was it, and I wanted a world I could legislate, make my own; not own, not totally control, no, not that: ah, but that was it: have an importance in.’ She stands in the mirror and turns; someone is watching over her shoulder.