Ashleigh Young works as an editor in Wellington. Her poetry and essays have been widely published in print and online journals, including Tell You What: Great New Zealand Nonfiction, Five Dials and The Griffith Review. She gained an MA in Creative Writing from the International Institute of Modern Letters in 2009, winning the Adam Prize. Her first book was the poetry collection Magnificent Moon (2012). Can You Tolerate This? is the winner of the Windham–Campbell Literature Prize for nonfiction, and the Royal Society Te Apārangi Award for General Nonfiction at the 2017 Ockham Book Awards.
280 pages Paperback, 19.7 x 13 cm Published September 2017 ISBN 9781925336443
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.