Notes to Self by Emilie Pine

Emilie Pine writes with pinpoint precision and invites readers into deeply personal parts of herself, exploring them with beautiful nuance

Book Review by Heather McDaid | 26 Jul 2018
  • Notes to Self by Emilie Pine
Book title: Notes to Self
Author: Emilie Pine

It’s often said with essay collections that after each piece, the book needs to be set aside so the writing can be truly absorbed and considered. Never has this been truer than with Notes to Self.

Emilie Pine does not rush, nor does she write with the goal of filling a book. Instead, with pinpoint precision, she welcomes readers into select, deeply personal parts of herself and explores them with beautiful nuance.

In six essays, she confronts her past in startling honesty, from addiction and its impact on family, to the journey of fertility, to the struggles to define and comprehend lived sexual violence. Each piece feels like it comes to a conclusion; flip the page and there is another turn, an unexpected addition, that burrows these words more deeply in your chest. You feel this collection; the trauma, the honesty, the hope.

Notes To Self is the sort of book that no one should expect anyone to write, it would be too great an ask. But it is the kind of writing we should be grateful to have – that someone was so willing to lay the harsh, at times heartbreaking realities of life on the page in such beautiful essays. Incredible and insightful – an absolute must-read. 

Tramp Press, out now, £12.99