Sheila Heti’s existential new novel chooses to see grief as a chance of discovery

Canadian author Sheila Heti isn’t afraid to pick apart complex topics, as demonstrated in 2019’s critically-acclaimed Motherhood, which intelligently interrogated the social expectations of maternal desire, the importance of a woman’s autonomy and the rise of maternal ambivalence with such elegance. Now in her new novel Pure Colour (Harvill Secker), she’s tackling another heavy subject: grief. We first meet its protagonist, art critic student Mira, at a point where life has lost its spark. Everything is lacklustre, until her beloved father passes. On her journey of grieving, she welcomes the idea of spirituality, believing he lives on within her and develops a sudden appreciation for nature – which hilariously and oddly leads to her entering a leaf, wondering what it’s like to be one.

“Though the back and forth between the narration of existential chatter and Mira’s storyline isn’t for everyone, Heti’s writing is wonderfully entertaining,” says Stylist Loves writer Kiran Meeda. “While the longing for her father is painfully obvious, it’s the journey she takes to see the glass half-full that is a treat to read. Expect to take in the work of a true wordsmith, as Heti turns something deeply saddening into a natural process that has many brighter notes. A conclusion isn’t really the point of this novel, but more so the discovery of joy that life and the natural world can offer us. It’s hard to be optimistic when such tragedy occurs, but there’s profound moments in this novel that will leave you suspended in thought.” £16.98,

Stylist’s acting executive fashion director Hannah Moore shares what’s on her spring/summer 2022 wishlist – for more new season wardrobe inspiration, download this week’s fashion issue now
Marks & Spencer / £39.50
Denim ankle grazers will be my go-to style for the season – I'll wear them sockless with loafers and a crisp white shirt
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New Balance / £105
Baby pink popped on all the runways. These will look fresh with white or khaki if you’re not ready to fully embrace the colour
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YMC / £250
The gilet is the perfect transitional piece. It can also serve as an extra layer come winter, so you get more bang for your buck
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Weekday / £35
Giving me three trends in one: baguette shape, craft element and a neon hue – this little guy will add some pep to my spring stride
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H&M / £24.99
A sporty sweatshirt is a great way to contemporise your look for spring. Layer over a floral dress or wear with tailored trousers
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Missoma / £135
I can never get enough of an initial charm, and this one is bringing all the joy. Perfect alone or with other chains and pendants
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This nostalgic British make-up brand is back – and you won’t believe the prices
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If your LFW ticket got lost in the post, get your fashion fix with these 3 exhibitions

With New York Fashion Week having drawn to a close yesterday, it’s London’s turn next. Kicking off tomorrow, the global style set will be flitting around town to see catwalk presentations from the likes of Molly Goddard, Simone Rocha, Erdem and more. But although the majority of shows are invitation-only, you can still get an IRL fashion fix thanks to the capital’s galleries and museums. If you’ve picked up a magazine in the last four decades, it’s likely that you’ll have seen the drawings of Gladys Perint Palmer. The famed fashion illustrator has graced countless glossy pages, along with documenting collections for some of the world’s most coveted designers – now A Fine Line In Fashion: The Art of Gladys Perint Palmer brings together over 30 original drawings to celebrate her iconic works (until 20 Feb; free; Gray M.C.A, Cromwell Place, London SW7). 

Over at the Fashion and Textile Museum, get ready to step back into the heady, star-studded world of 60s London as Beautiful People: The Boutique In 1960s Counterculture explores how Chelsea’s shops sparked a fashion revolution (until 13 March; £12.65; Bermondsey St, London SE1). Finally, Bethany Williams: Alternative Systems opens at The Design Museum on LFW’s closing day, highlighting not only the designer’s collaboration to create PPE during the pandemic, but her commitment to tackling social and environmental issues through her designs (from 22 Feb; free; Kensington High St, London W8). Who needs the front row? 

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Image credits: Rita Platts © Ryland Peters & Small; © Susan Bell; ©Rita Platts; Bethany Williams “All Our Children” collection. Image by Ruth Ossai. SS21; Copyright Fashion and Textile Museum; The Fool designs on the Apple Boutique stairs. Models Anke Ferris, Charlotte Martin & Renate. Copyright Karl Ferris; Valentino Haute Couture, 2013 Ink on paper, signed, Nob Hill Gazette March 2013, 64 x 78 cms; Bethany Williams LookBook image from All Our Stories LookBook Shoot. Featuring the ruched crying tiger dress in the exhibition. Image by Christina Ebenezer. SS22;; Courtesy of brands
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