Can You Tolerate This?

Ashleigh Young



Winner of the prestigious $200,000 Windham–Campbell Prize and the Ockham New Zealand Book Award for Nonfiction. 

The second title in Giramondo’s ‘Southern Latitudes’ series, focusing on innovative fiction and non-fiction by writers of the southern hemisphere.

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.

‘Calling to mind both Joan Didion and Anton Chekhov, Young is relentless in her examination of herself and endlessly curious and compassionate in her consideration of the world. Can You Tolerate This? offers a glimpse into this extraordinarily promising writer’s quest to seek in the small accidents of her individual life the outlines of a much larger reality.’ Windham–Campbell Prize judges’ citation

High-res cover image

ISBN : 9781925336443
Epdf ISBN : 9781925336535
Epub ISBN : 9781925336528
pp : 280
Published : September 2017

About the Author

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 NonfictionFive 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. News

Books and Publishing: 'Young made honorary fellow by NZSA'