When artist and poet Rupi Kaur Milk and Honey uploaded a fully clothed self-portrait with a blood-stained crotch to Instagram, the social media site removed it – twice. The incident sparked headlines around the world and divided audiences. Brit Bennett’s The Mothers tackles abortion while Viola Di Grado’s novel Hollow Heart explores the aftermath of a suicide. These writers talk with Sofia Stefanovic about why the underlying forces of our lives – sex and death – are still taboo?