Books of the Month | Month of the Books #30

“Reality doesn’t always give us the life that we desire, but we can always find what we desire between the pages of books.” — Adelise M. Cullens



On a planet where men are contained in ghettoized isolation, women enjoy the fruits of a matriarchal utopia — until a boy escapes and a young woman’s per­ception of the world is violently interrupted. Two old friends enjoy cocktails on a holiday resort planet where all is not as it seems. A bickering couple emigrate to a world that has worked out an innovative way to side-step the need for war, only to bring their quarrels (and something far more destructive) with them. And in the title story, Suzuki offers readers a tragic and warped mirroring of her own final days as the tyranny of enfor­ced screen-time and the mechanization of labour bring about a shattering psychic collapse. At turns noncha­lantly hip and charmingly deranged, Suzuki’s singular slant on speculative fiction would be echoed in count­less later works, from Margaret Atwood and Harumi Murakami, to Black Mirror and Ex Machina.

In these darkly playful and punky stories, the fan­tastical elements are always earthed by the universal pettiness of strife between the sexes, and the gritty reality of life on the lower rungs, whatever planet that ladder might be on.


Izumi Suzuki was a Japanese actor and writer, known for her science fiction stories and essays on Japanese pop culture. She was born in 1949. After dropping out of high school she worked in a factory before finding success and infamy as a model and actress. Her acting credits include both pink films and classics of 1970s Japanese cinema. When the father of her children, the jazz musician Kaoru Abe, died of an overdose, Suzuki’s creative output went into hyperdrive and she began producing the irreverent and punky short fiction, novels and essays that ensured her reputation would outstrip and outlast that of the men she had been asso­ciated with in her early career. She took her own life in 1986, leaving behind a decade’s worth of groundbrea­king and influential writing.





Elsa Schiaparelli (1890–1973), one of the leading fashion designers of the 1920s, ’30s, and ’40s, was known for her flair for the unusual. The first designer to use shoulder pads and animal prints, and the inven­tor of shocking pink, Schiaparelli collaborated with artists including Jean Cocteau, Alberto Giacometti, and Salvador Dalí to create extraordinary gar­ments such as the Dalí Lobster Dress. Schiaparelli had an affluent clientele, from Katharine Hepburn to Marlene Dietrich, who embraced her outra­geous but elegant designs. She designed aviator Amy Johnson’s wardrobe for her solo flight to Cape Town in 1936 and the culottes for tennis champion Lilí Álvarez that outraged the lawn tennis establishment, and her clothes appeared in more than 30 films, including Every Day’s a Holi­day with Mae West and Moulin Rouge.

Schiaparelli’s fascinating autobiography charts her rise from resident of a rat-infested apartment to designer to the stars.




#1 New York Times bestselling author Rupi Kaur presented guided poetry writing exercises of her own design to help you explore themes of trauma, loss, heartache, love, family, healing, and celebra­tion of the self.

“Healing Through Words” is a guided tour on the journey back to the self, a cathartic and mind­ful exploration through writing. This carefully curated collection of exercises asks only that you be vulnerable and honest, both with yourself and the page. You don’t need to be a writer to take this walk; you just need to write — that’s all.


A breakout literary phenomenon and #1 New York Times Bestselling Author, Rupi Kaur (b. 1992) wrote, illustrated, and self-published her first poetry collection, “Milk and Honey” in 2014. Next came its artistic sibling, “The Sun and her Flowers” in 2017. These collections have sold more than 10 million copies and have been translated into over 40 languages. Her latest poetry collection, “Home Body”, debuted #1 on best-seller lists across the world. As she has done from the very beginning, Rupi self-produced Rupi Kaur Live, the first poetry special of its kind, which debuted on Amazon Prime Video in 2021.

Rupi Kaur has also graced the stage across the globe on world tours, performing her poetry across the U.S., Canada, Mexico, the UK, Europe, and more. Intertwined with visuals, music, comedy, and anecdotes, Rupi performs her classic poems and unpublished pieces, tailoring each show to the city she visits.

Rupi’s work touches on love, loss, trauma, healing, femininity, and migration. She feels most at home when creating art, performing her poetry onstage, and spending time with family and friends.






Building upon the argument that age is an asset rather than a liability, the best-selling author of “Ageless Beauty” introduces her principles for positive living after forty, presenting techniques that integrate health, beauty, wellness, and longevity and explaining how changes in atti­tude and behavior can lead to significant, lasting improvements in the quality of life.


Dayle Haddon (b. 1948) is a Canadian model and actress, known for promoting anti-aging products manufactured by L’Oréal. She is the author of two books: “Ageless Beauty: A Woman’s Guide to Lifelong Beauty and Well-Being” and “The Five Principles of Ageless Living”.

She is a Founder of non-profit @women1one Glo­bal girls education, and the advisor to committee for the G7.



* This story by Tanja Beljanski first appeared in the December 2022 issue of L'Officiel Arabia.