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Sorrow and Bliss: the flow of a journey – Meg Mason

About This Episode

Michael welcomes Meg Mason, the author of Sorrow and Bliss, the best selling novel acclaimed as remarkable, extraordinary and containing a brutal, hilarious and compassionate truth. And for good reason, it’s a brilliant and important read. Amongst its many fans are newspapers including The Times, The New York Times and the likes of Gillian Anderson, Pandora Sykes and Sophie Dahl.

With a protagonist compared to Phoebe Waller Bridge’s Fleabag, an option for the big screen by Oscar winning US studio New Regency, this is the story of a writer on a journey and of that journey, perhaps a clue from one of her own favourite novelists Ralph Ellison, who observed that the end is in the beginning and lies far ahead.

Meg Mason, Author, Sorrow and Bliss

Born in New Zealand, Meg Mason began her career at the Financial Times in London before switching to The Times to write on lifestyle, parenting and humour.

After relocating to Australia, she continued to write for a range of publications that include the Sydney Morning Herald, Cosmopolitan and GQ. She lives with her husband and two daughters in Sydney.

Meg’s first novel You Be Mother was published in 2017. Then Sorrow and Bliss, first published Australia in 2020 and then in the US and UK.

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Lockdown List

What is a book that has changed your life?

It was Emma by Jane Austen because I was not a reader when I was growing up and well into my teens, but this was the novel that turned me, at 18, and became a gateway to reading as a voluntarily, desperately-loved pursuit – and decided my career too I suppose.

What are you watching at the moment?

About five minutes into the first episode of the new season of Succession, I realised I remembered absolutely nothing about the previous two, so I have gone back to the beginning.

Hopefully, by the time I’m done, the whole season will have dropped, sparing me the diabolical wait between episodes they’ve decided we have to endure, like it’s 1995.

Who is your biggest inspiration and why?

Hilary Mantel, for what she has been able to achieve as a writer, despite suffering with extreme illness all her life, what supreme endurance it must have taken. That she has managed to write at all in the face of such challenge is inspiring; that she could write like that.

In one sentence, describe your new normal.

Being alone can’t be a condition for writing as it always was for me before because, lockdown first, and now this new way of Covid-living means I am seldom on