Spinsterhood Reimagined

The One Where I Talk To Writer & Poet, Tania Hershman

April 04, 2023 Lucy Meggeson Season 1 Episode 59
Spinsterhood Reimagined
The One Where I Talk To Writer & Poet, Tania Hershman
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Show Notes

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In this week's episode, I talk to poet, writer, teacher and editor, Tania Hershman. 

Tania, as she describes herself on her website, is “a queer writer of odd things, short, very short, and longer.” Now based in Manchester, UK, she moved to Jerusalem from London in 1994 where she was a science journalist for 13 years, writing for publications such as WIRED and NewScientist. She subsequently gave it all up to pursue her love of writing fiction and later, poetry. Tania has a degree in Maths & Physics, a diploma in Journalism, an MSc in Philosophy of Science, and MA and a PhD in Creative Writing. 

Tania has published multiple short stories and poetry books, and last year released her debut novel, ‘Go On’ - a ‘fictional memoir-in-collage’ about a woman moving very happily through the world alone.

Topics that Tania & I cover are:

  • how she defines the word ‘queer’ and applies it to herself;
  • how the way she writes has never been particularly conventional;
  • Tania’s fascination with cemeteries, and the BBC Radio 4 programme she made around the second biggest cemetery in Europe in which she explored how, as a single woman, she might want to be remembered;
  • how she was described in a review of the programme as ‘baffling’ due to her single status;
  • how she has always felt like the ‘weirdo in the room’, and now uses the word queer as an empowering term;
  • why Tania loves the word ‘permission’ and dislikes the word ‘should’;
  • how she loves ’stealing’ from science and using it as inspiration for her writing;
  • her time in Jerusalem, and how while she loved her work and her time there, the extreme pressure on single people made her feel like a weirdo;
  • the 10 year relationship she never expected to have which she embarked upon, in part, to conform to what was expected of her; and how her parents seemed to take her more seriously as part of a couple;
  • how Tania is an introvert and needs time alone in order to feel well;
  • the death of her beloved cat, her subsequent breakdown, and how it actually helped her to come back to the truth of who she was;
  • how frustrating it can be when people don’t believe that, as single people, we can be happy;
  • Tania’s upcoming novel in which being single is the default, solitude is celebrated, and being in a couple is not only considered suspicious, it’s possibly a crime! I CANNOT WAIT to read this.

Tania’s Website:

Follow Tania on Instagram:

Buy Tania’s Book, Go On:

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