Emilie Pine: ‘I wrote the essay I needed to read’


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A courageous collection of essays by a drama professor explores alcoholism, mental illness, rape and infertility

Emilie Pine, 41, is an associate professor of modern drama at University College, Dublin. Notes to Self, her first non-academic book, is a personal, courageous and compulsively readable collection of essays about what it is to be a woman; it explores taboo subjects – infertility, miscarriage, menstruation, self-starvation, the rape she experienced as a teenager and the effects of alcoholism in a family.

Your book begins with a gripping account of your alcoholic father who is suffering liver failure in an under-staffed Greek hospital. You and your sister have to improvise as his nurses.
My dad got sick in 2013 – a year of hospitals. The good news is that he is still alive and no longer drinking. But in 2014, I felt the need to get it all out of my head. You ...