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Remarkably brought together, heartwarming and uplifting . . . showing that despite differences in age and background, geography and lifestyle, there is so much that binds us, so much we share
Kit de Waal

100 Voices: 100 women share their stories of achievement

Miranda Roszkowski
Status: published
Publication Date: 03.03.2022
  • Paperback£10.99
  • Ebook£6.99
  • Hardback£25.00
Remarkably brought together, heartwarming and uplifting . . . showing that despite differences in age and background, geography and lifestyle, there is so much that binds us, so much we share
Kit de Waal

100 Voices is an anthology of writing by women across the country on what achievement means for them, and how they have come to find their own voice. Featuring poetry, fiction and memoir, the pieces range from notes on making lemon curd, to tales of marathon running and riding motorbikes, to accounts of a refugee eating English food for the first time, a newlywed learning her mother tongue and a woman rebuilding her life after an abusive relationship.

The poignant, funny and inspiring stories collected here are as varied and diverse as their authors, who include established names such as Louise Jensen, Sabrina Mahfouz, Yvonne Battle-Felton and Miranda Keeling alongside a host of exciting new writers. Taken together, they build a picture of what it’s really like to be a woman in the UK today.

'A stimulating collection of women's voices to help inspire us for the next 100 years' Elizabeth Day

If I say it out loud by Branwen Davies
If I say it out loud it has to happen right? That’s been my mistake in the past. Keeping it to myself. Allowing myself to just day dream. But if I say it out loud, I have to go through with it. Make it happen. I’m good at dawdling and skirting around and let’s face it, excuses. Nothing will change unless…well unless I change it and I’m running out of excuses. Maybe running out of time.
So I choose my most sceptical friend. The one I think will laugh the loudest and convince me that I’m going insane. I drag her out for a drink. Only she doesn’t laugh. She says go for it. So now not only have I said it out loud I have validation and encouragement too!
I’m stuck. Agitated. Biting at the bit. Needing to do something. Go somewhere. Anywhere. Hell I’m bored and even worse feeling boring. I need to shock my senses. Scare myself a little. Take a risk.
I’m in my favourite Japanese restaurant and over a bowl of steaming ramen I’m thinking – Japan!
A week later a letter arrives and I recognise sceptical friend’s scribble. A postcard and a cutting from a newspaper and I spit out my coffee and I’m like – What the fuuu - Do you want to live in Japan? Can you teach English? Be there by September!
Is this real? I mean, I’d pulled out September from mid air when I told her bold as brass after my third glass of wine that I was going to move to Japan and that I was going to be there in 9 months and…oh my god - this is my green light!!
There’s a small matter of an interview first but…I can pull that off right?
Everyone is in suits. Grey suits. I don’t own a suit. I’m in blue. Bright blue and purple. Purple with a splash of pink. Neon pink. And you know. Yellow shoes. With pink bows.
I’m sweating. Squirming. He’s frowning at me – the big boss guy, and he’s asking me, in front of everyone, like thirty of the suited ones – what possessed you – what possessed you to come to dressed like that?
The kids in ill fitting suits are sniggering.
Me? I don’t own a suit. I’m an actor. I don’t usually do interviews. I do auditions. I try and dress the part of the part I’m up for you know. As this is a teacher position, teaching young children I thought I’d dress the part.
Silence.
I’m offered the job on the spot. And I’m here. On the floor of a strange city at night in just my pants, a cold Asahi in my hand, feeling free in the warm Japanese air.
Say it out loud. I dare you.

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