An essay on the anxiety epidemic, autofiction and internet feminism. After the release of Sympathy, her debut novel which explores surveillance and identity in the internet age, Olivia Sudjic found herself under the microscope. Trapped in an anxious spiral of self-doubt, she became alienated from herself and her work. Blaming her own mental-health masked a wider problem that still persists: the tendency for writing by women, whether fiction or personal testimony, to be invalidated on the grounds of sex.
Drawing on Sudjic’s experience of anxiety — as well as the work of Elena Ferrante, Maggie Nelson, Jenny Offill, Rachel Cusk and others — Exposure examines the damaging assumptions that attend female artists, indeed any woman who risks exposure, as well as the strategies by which one might escape them. [publisher's note]