Do you have one of those girls on Instagram that you’ve been following for years, and feel like you actually know them? Stupid question. We all do. It might be their style, their career, or their unquestionable sense of self that feels genuine. Abigail Bergstrom is one of said girls for me. She equally values the colour black, and has a dope-ass vocation: she’s the head of publishing at Gleam Titles.
When I feel I’m in need of some worded inspiration, I turn to her Instagram feed, and scroll for one of her eloquently written and poetically insightful mini reviews. After just a few minutes on her page, I might have already added five books to my Amazon basket. From autobiographical essays to feminist fiction; topical novels to yet unpublished manuscripts, her witty commentary makes you want to cancel plans and curl up with your #CURRENTLYREADING tome.
It only seemed fitting that I 20-question Abigail for my INSTA MUSE series…
1. Where in the world are you today?
2. What are you wearing?
Head to toe black. CDG Converse. White pearls. Red lippy.
3. First book you remember reading?
A kids picture book called ‘Abigail Goes Visiting’ – I was a narcissist from a young age, apparently. I later fell head over heels with anything by Jacqueline Wilson, I liked the darker and spikier edges of her characters.
4. Sneakers or heels?
Sneakers. All day, every day.
5. If you weren’t in publishing, what would you be doing?
I was all set to do my law conversion and wanted to do the bar exam. So I like to think I’d be in a white wig in court somewhere, defending women and still finding a way to deconstruct the patriarchy with words.
6. Favourite place to curl up and read?
A Saturday afternoon. On my sofa. Luca, my Italian Greyhound curled up under my arm. A cup of fresh mint tea and a candle burning.
7. Poetry or prose?
8. Latest book you read?
Exciting Times by Naoise Dolan. Cancel your Saturday plans; read this book.
9. Roxanne Gay, Simone de Beauvoir or Germaine Greer?
Simone, Simone, Simone: “When she does not find love, she may find poetry. Because she does not act, she observes, she feels, she records; a colour, a smile awakens profound echoes within her; her destiny is outside her, scattered in cities already built, on the faces of men already marked by life.”
10. Biggest guilty pleasure?
I never feel guilty about pleasure.
11. The fringe. When did it get the chop?
Oooh December 2016. I was going through a breakup. I always change my hair after a breakup – what a disgusting cliché. But hey, it’s a time of transition and it works.
12. Favourite book shop in the world?
Stoke Newington Bookshop. There’s nothing really extraordinary about it (it’s not like the gorgeous Ti Pi Tin which is just down the road, for example). But Stoke Newington Bookshop, to me, is just what a bookshop should be. Ordinary. Local. A little rough around the edges and operated by ferocious readers.
13. Most inspirational women writer?
Angela Carter. Miranda July. Julia Kristeva.
14. Who is your spirit animal?
I had this conversation with my boyfriend and my sister recently, they mutually decided I was a crow. I’ll take it.
15. Favourite book-adaptation movie of your teens?
Interview with The Vampire. Cruise, Pitt and Kirsten Dunst. WHAT a trio.
16. Woman crush right now?
Brittany Bathgate. Her style is mouth-watering. Her shoe collection, a triumph. I find her content really soothing.
17. Biggest career achievement to date?
My biggest career achievement is creating a job for myself that I love, and getting to approach and work with some of the most inspirational and amazing women I’ve ever met.
18. Summer or winter?
Summer. My soul may be black, but my bones like some sun on them.
19. You can’t wear black or white. What colour are you wearing?
Black. In the words of Yohi Yamamoto: black is modest and arrogant at the same time. Black is lazy and easy – but mysterious. But above all black says I don’t bother you – don’t bother me.
20. Novel that’s had the biggest impact in your life. Go…
Emma by Jane Austen. I read it when I was at school and I think it helped me overcome my desire for likeability. That’s a desire that’s inbuilt in young girls, to be liked, to be agreeable, to appease. Emma wasn’t likeable and I adored her for it.
Follow Abigail on INSTAGRAM.COM
And explore her publishing triumphs at GLEAMTITLES.COM