Rookie: How Should a Person Be? starts by asking whether deep relationships between women are possible. Whereas Women in Clothes asserts that women definitely do have important relationships with each other. Even though Women in Clothes isn’t just your work, have your feelings about female friendship changed since 2012?
Sheila Heti: For one thing, I’ve had female friends my whole life. It was a fiction of the book that Margaux was my first female friend. But it is true that my [real-life] relationship with Margaux and publishing How Should a Person Be? changed my relationship to women in the world. Publishing that book brought me into conversation with so many female artists and writers that I wouldn’t have otherwise had the opportunity to talk to, and I continue to find so much joy in those relationships.
Collaborating with Heidi and Leanne took a lot more trust than I probably would have had before—let’s say 10 years ago, or five years ago—especially because the roles were not clear. I was also really enjoying the conversations I was having online with all these different women for Women in Clothes. Seeing these conversations happening on the internet seemed like a moment where women were getting a lot out of talking to each other—about everything, not just feminism and things that we would associate with feminism, but every aspect of life. And to sort of capture that moment and capture that excitement in a book, it made a lot of sense to me.
Women in Clothes, a book collaboration between Sheila Heti, Heidi Julavits and Leanne Shapton about women’s relationship to style, is on sale from Penguin (Blue Rider Press) today! Read the rest of Rookie's interview with Heti here. And find out more about How Should a Person Be? here.