‘You are so much more than the sum of your private parts’

Karen Havelin’s debut novel Please Read This Leaflet Carefully is a life told in reverse and a subversion of what we expect from stories of illness. Eleanor Thom’s part memoir, part guide book and part survival guide Private Parts: How To Really Live With Endometriosis retraces Eleanor’s own journey with endometriosis, offering readers practical, down-to-earth and friendly advice. Meeting them in the middle is Kirstie Millar, editor of Ache magazine, an intersectional feminist magazine by women about illness, health and pain.

All three women have been affected by endometriosis: a chronic and incurable condition that affects 1 in 10 women. It takes an average of seven and a half years to get a diagnosis in the UK and affects sufferers’ capacity to work, their fertility and their ability to enjoy sex.

In this event, Karen, Eleanor and Kirstie will explore how endometriosis is emblematic of the way women’s pain and bodies are misunderstood, misrepresented and even disregarded – as well as celebrating how writing in all its variant forms can provide comfort and insight into this often unknown and undiagnosed disease.

Tickets are £10/8 (students/Waterstones cardholders) and include a glass of wine or soft drink

This event is part of The Summer of Testaments, Waterstones Gower Street’s season celebrating Margaret Atwood’s forthcoming novel The Testaments. We’ll tackle themes such as social justice, masculinity, reproductive rights and activism, host an exhibition of The Handmaid’s Tale graphic novel, and discuss Atwood’s earlier novels in our book clubs.


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