Pinch Me: Trying to Feel real in the 21st Century

Pinch Me: Trying to Feel real in the 21st Century
Published : 17 Oct 2023 - Ortac Press
There have been moments, see; pinpricks in time that have given me such an essential and triumphant feeling of realness I am for that one split second jolted directly back into myself. I have found it when immersed in bodies of very cold water, when face-to-face with a vast and beautiful view. I have found it in print, loud noise and in utter silence. I have found it in darkness too. But most of all, most consistently, I have found it in art.

This is a book about how it feels to exist. About the moments we come off autopilot and engage fully with the world around us. The fleeting moments in which our minds and bodies connect totally to one another and to our environment.

Intimate, impassioned and full of humour, PINCH ME follows art historian Francesca Ramsay’s far-reaching journey in search of answers to one of life’s most complex and essential questions: What does it mean to feel real?

Tackling this ancient subject through a contemporary lens, PINCH ME is a raw, lyrical reflection on finding connection with oneself, one another and the modern world. Ramsay investigates what it is to experience reality, the reasons so many of us are feeling the lack of it today, and crucially, how we might be able to get it back.


I loved following Francesca's attempts to feel real in the twenty-first century. Enlightening, insightful, thought-provoking, and still often laugh-out-loud funny.

Claire Fuller

A compelling and timely exploration of contemporary reality...I found myself completely captivated by her voice and view of the world.

Nathan Dunne, author of LICHTENSTEIN

Truly such a wonderful read. There were numerous drifts of sentence and sentiment that I was unable to pass by without noting down - certain things stuck, resonated, rang so piercingly true.

Ella Frances Sanders, author of EVERYTHING, BEAUTIFUL

Other books by Francesca Ramsay