In conversation with Laura Zigman
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ABOUT SORROW AND BLISS
A compulsively readable debut novel—spiky, sharp, intriguingly dark, and tender—about a woman on the edge that combines the psychological insight of Sally Rooney with the sharp humor of Nina Stibbe and the emotional resonance of Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine.
Martha Friel just turned forty. Once, she worked at Vogue and planned to write a novel. Now, she creates internet content. She used to live in a pied-à-terre in Paris. Now she lives in a gated community in Oxford, the only person she knows without a PhD, a baby or both, in a house she hates but cannot bear to leave. But she must leave, now that her husband Patrick—the kind who cooks, throws her birthday parties, who loves her and has only ever wanted her to be happy—has just moved out.
Because there’s something wrong with Martha, and has been for a long time. When she was seventeen, a little bomb went off in her brain and she was never the same. But countless doctors, endless therapy, every kind of drug later, she still doesn’t know what’s wrong, why she spends days unable to get out of bed or alienates both strangers and her loved ones with casually cruel remarks.
And she has nowhere to go except her childhood home: a bohemian (dilapidated) townhouse in a romantic (rundown) part of London—to live with her mother, a minorly important sculptor (and major drinker) and her father, a famous poet (though unpublished) and try to survive without the devoted, potty-mouthed sister who made all the chaos bearable back then, and is now too busy or too fed up to deal with her.
But maybe, by starting over, Martha will get to write a better ending for herself—and she’ll find out that she’s not quite finished after all.
ABOUT MEG MASON
Meg Mason is a journalist whose career began at the Financial Times and The Times of London. Her work has since appeared in Vogue, Elle, the Sydney Morning Herald, the Sunday Times (UK) and The New Yorker’s “Daily Shouts.” Born in New Zealand, she now lives in Sydney, Australia.
ABOUT LAURA ZIGMAN
Laura Zigman is the author of Separation Anxiety, Animal Husbandry (which was made into the movie, Someone Like You, starring Hugh Jackman and Ashley Judd), Dating Big Bird, Piece of Work and Her. She has been a contributor to The New York Times, The Washington Post, and The Huffington Post, produced a popular online series of animated videos, "Annoying Conversations," and was the recipient of a Yaddo residency. She lives in Cambridge with her husband, son, and deeply human Sheltie.
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