The Hazlitt Offensive: Claire Battershill

By Hazlitt

Our new, trademark pending, Hazlitt questionnaire

Claire Battershill is a Canadian-born author now living in London, England. In 2008, she won the CBC Literary Award for Short Fiction for her story “Circus,” which is also the title of her recently published collection of short stories; she was also a co-winner of the 2013 Canadian Authors Association’s Emerging Writer Award. In February, Hazlitt published “Two-Man Luge,” another story from her recent collection, about one Olympian’s life as a lugist.

1. What are three words you associate with your first relationship?
Sweet but awkward.

2. What’s the worst thing you ever did for money?
Lemonade stand. I grew up in a field full of wild flowers, which, as it turns out, is not such a great spot for retail. All my customers were woodland creatures and they never carry any change.

3. What is your least favourite song?
I don’t like songs about counting.

4. What is your favourite song?
The theme tune from Curb Your Enthusiasm.

5. What’d you have for breakfast this morning?
Greek yogurt with blueberries and walnuts. And coffee.

6. How do you feel about Joni Mitchell?

7. How did you learn what sex was?
At the Science Museum in an exhibit on genetics. I think I was in kindergarten. There were helpful diagrams.

8. Where do you imagine all our lost T-shirts go?
I heard an NPR series about the economics of t-shirts, which was so real it’s supplanted any imaginary answer I might give to this question. So, Africa. The true answer is Africa.

9. Who do you consider the funniest person in the world—that we would know?
I just saw Daniel Kitson’s new show the other day. He made poignant jokes about yogurt. If you don’t know him you could watch this opening bit of “stories for the wobbly hearted.”

10. What’s the worst insult you’ve ever said?
I often say weird things when I’m mad, but somehow they’re never all that insulting.

11. What’s the worst thing you’ve ever been called?

12. What’s a deal breaker for someone you’re in a relationship or in love with?
No street shoes on the gym floor!

13. What’s something you do every night before bed?
I write a list for the morning.


Shoe Truthers, Rick and Morty, and the Eternal Acid Trip
Who was tougher on corporate America as president, George W. Bush or Barack Obama? The answer may surprise you! Unless you watched this Matt Taibbi interview, in which case you would know it was (at least in his opinion) George W. Bush . Then you might be less surprised. Shoe truthers .


Must Fit Bodies Be the Products of Hard Work?
To hear movie stars speak of one another is usually boring—until they inadvertently let something interesting slip. So a while ago, when Bollywood’s Ranveer Singh suggested co-star Anushka Sharma had the industry’s best body—and it was because she worked for it—it caught my attention. In part, it’s because he had something resembling a point. To be clear, I have definitely never watched this bikini scene featuring Sharma more than once and then felt wretched for being the world’s worst feminist ally. I’m just saying that, if you are going to lay down an arbitrary, misogynistic standard of beauty, Sharma happens to live up to the current one. Why, though, was the effort expended to realize the ideal so important? Singh’s comments, after all, seem to praise the process as much the “result”—that the noble triumvirate of being fit is to “eat right, sleep right, and train hard.” Recently, an answer came in the form of a study about stomach surgeries as a treatment for obesity. Scientists have found that, rather than simply reducing the size of the stomach, getting laproscopic surgery actually changes the composition of both gut bacteria and bile, and it is actually that which is responsible for sustained weight loss and fighting diabetes.