‘L.A. Review of Books’ Features Leah Bailly Essay

Bludgeoned by Joy

By Leah Bailly

All paradises, all utopias are designed by who is not there, by the people who are not allowed in.

—Toni Morrison



First of all, I want to thank you again for writing this beautiful piece for the magazine. We all love it and, as you can see from the attached, the edits are mostly pretty minor. We did have to remove two of the named examples you gave, however, due to the ongoing legal situation*. Please feel free to add alternative examples, although I think it still works very well as it stands.

We would love to be able to illustrate your article with one of the photographs your father took that you refer to in the piece. They sound absolutely gorgeous — sun-drenched, dreamy and nostalgic. Do you have access to them and if so would you be able to please scan them and send them to us as high resolution jpeg attachments? That would be wonderful!

Thank you again, WRITER and I look forward to hearing back from you about the edits. I am, of course, more than happy to discuss any of them with you if you wish.

Kind regards,



* The “ongoing legal situation” refers to a $215 million class-action settlement between the UNIVERSITY, a UNIVERSITY health center DOCTOR accused of misconduct, and hundreds of students. Of the DOCTOR’s 17,000 former patients, 650 report they were inappropriately fondled, photographed, or subject to sexually charged comments during gynecological exams. The UNIVERSITY received several complaints of the DOCTOR’s abusive behavior beginning in 1988, and the UNIVERSITY was guilty of concealing, denying and ignoring these complaints. In 2016, the UNIVERSITY paid the DOCTOR a “substantial amount” to ensure he resigned quietly amid accusations of abuse. In January, 2020, the $215 million was awarded to the survivors as compensation for this abuse.

Read Leah’s full essay at The L.A. Review of Books.

Leah Bailly is our Literary Affairs book club facilitator in Vancouver. To read more about her (and our other fabulous facilitators), visit our team page here.

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