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Sarah Moss

25 Podcast Episodes

Latest 16 Oct 2021 | Updated Daily

Weekly hand curated podcast episodes for learning

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13.19. Sarah Moss - Geisterwand (Renate Zimmermann)

Schwebende Bücher

Eine einzige Tochter. Ihr dominanter Vater. Ein Wald in Northumberland, in dem eine Gruppe Archäologen einen Sommer lang leben will wie in der Eisenzeit ... Uralte Rituale, die seltsame Anziehungskraft ferner Zeiten und Lebensweisen verschränken sich in diesem brillanten Roman auf wahrhaft atemberaubende Weise mit sehr heutigem Missbrauch. Geisterwand komprimiert große und dringliche Themen – die Gefahren eines nostalgischen Nationalismus, Gewalt gegen Frauen und Kinder, was verloren, was gewonnen wird, wenn der Mensch nicht mehr als Knecht der Natur lebt – in einer rasiermesserscharf geschliffenen Spannungserzählung.(Quelle: Verlagstext)


13 Aug 2021

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"Die 3 der Woche": Zeruya Shalev, Rebecca Maria Salentin und Sarah Moss

Unter Büchern mit Katrin Schumacher

Katrin Schumacher mit den 3 Literaturtipps der Woche: Zeruya Shalev schmerzensreicher Roman "Schicksal", Rebecca Maria Salentins Buch übers Weitwandern "Klub Drushba" und Sarah Moss' Roman "Geisterwand".


25 Jun 2021

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Sarah Moss

Five Questions

I ask the philosopher Sarah Moss five questions about herself. Sarah Moss is Professor of Philosophy at the University of Michigan and the author of “Probabilistic Knowledge” (2018).


8 Jun 2021

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1921: Why You Shouldn't Feel Like a Minimalist Imposter by Sarah Moss with No Sidebar

Optimal Living Daily: Personal Development & Minimalism

Sarah Moss with No Sidebar tells you why you shouldn't feel like a minimalist imposter. Episode 1921: Why You Shouldn't Feel Like a Minimalist Imposter by Sarah Moss with No Sidebar No Sidebar was created by Brian Gardner and is all about designing a simpler life. He and the contributing authors want to help you figure out what's getting in your way, at home and at work. They want to help you let go of distractions, online and off--to turn down the noise that disrupts the quiet of your heart and soul. The original post is located here: https://nosidebar.com/minimalist-imposter/ Please Rate & Review the Show! Visit Me Online at OLDPodcast.com and in The O.L.D. Facebook Group Join the Ol' Family to get your Free Gifts and join our online community: OLDPodcast.com/group Interested in advertising on the show? Visit https://www.advertisecast.com/OptimalLivingDaily Gusto is making payroll, benefits, and HR easy for small businesses. Get 3 months free once you run your first payroll with our link: Gusto.com/OLD Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices


15 Mar 2021

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SUMMERWATER by Sarah Moss, read by Morven Christie

Behind the Mic with AudioFile Magazine

Morven Christie’s limpid, Scottish-inflected voice and gentle, enticing tone combine to lure listeners into Sarah Moss’s astonishing seventh novel as effectively as mermaids tempt sailors into the sea. Host Jo Reed and AudioFile’s Robin Whitten discuss this memorable tale set at a Scottish holiday camp over the course of a long, rainy day, written in a series of linked vignettes. Each is its own vivid, heartfelt, mysterious, or humorous story that builds with the others toward an unexpected and shocking final drama. Christie’s narration keeps listeners rapt while maintaining rhythm with the action. An outstanding performance. Published by Macmillan Audio.Find more audiobook recommendations at audiofilemagazine.comSupport for our podcast comes from Oasis Audio, publisher of Frankenstein, a breathtaking Audie-nominated full-cast performance of the stage adaptation by A.S. Peterson. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices


1 Mar 2021

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1900: How to Achieve Your Minimalist Dreams by Sarah Moss with No Sidebar on Simple Living Goals

Optimal Living Daily: Personal Development & Minimalism

Sarah Moss with No Sidebar talks about how to achieve your minimalist goals. Episode 1900: How to Achieve Your Minimalist Dreams by Sarah Moss with No Sidebar on Simple Living Goals No Sidebar was created by Brian Gardner and is all about designing a simpler life. He and the contributing authors want to help you figure out what's getting in your way, at home and at work. They want to help you let go of distractions, online and off--to turn down the noise that disrupts the quiet of your heart and soul. The original post is located here: https://nosidebar.com/minimalist-dreams/ Please Rate & Review the Show! Visit Me Online at OLDPodcast.com and in The O.L.D. Facebook Group Join the Ol' Family to get your Free Gifts and join our online community: OLDPodcast.com/group Interested in advertising on the show? Visit https://www.advertisecast.com/OptimalLivingDaily Gusto is making payroll, benefits, and HR easy for small businesses. Get 3 months free once you run your first payroll with our link: Gusto.com/OLD Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices


22 Feb 2021

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Sarah Moss and Megan Hunter in Conversation with Olivia Chapman

Birmingham Lit Fest Presents….

In this week’s episode, authors Sarah Moss and Megan Hunter join Writing West Midlands’ own Olivia Chapman to discuss their latest novels Summerwater and The Harpy. In this podcast, they discuss writing about relationships, creating unnerving fiction and the expectation placed on writers to make sense of the time we are living in.The Birmingham Lit Fest Presents... podcast brings writers and readers together to discuss some of 2020’s best books. Each Thursday across the next few months we’ll be releasing new episodes of the podcast, including wonderful discussionsabout writing, poetry, big ideas and social issues. Join us each week for exciting and inspiring conversations with new, and familiar, writers from the Midlands and beyond.Take a look at the rest of this year's digital programme on our website: https://www.birminghamliteraturefestival.org/. For more information on Writing West Midlands, visit https://writingwestmidlands.org/Follow the festival on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook @BhamLitFestCreditsCurator: Shantel Edwards (Festival director)Guest Curator: Kit de WaalProduction: 11C/ Birmingham Podcast Studios for Writing West MidlandsTRANSCRIPTBLF Podcast Transcription, Episode 9: Sarah Moss and Megan Hunter  Kit de Waal Welcome to the Birmingham Lit Fest Presents…podcast series. I’m Kit de Waal and I’ve worked with the  Festival Director, Shantel Edwards, as Guest Curator of this year’s podcast series. Each Thursday across the  next few months we’ll be releasing new episodes of the podcast, including wonderful discussions about  writing, poetry, big ideas and social issues. In this week’s episode, authors Sarah Moss and Megan Hunter  join Writing West Midlands’ own Olivia Chapman to discuss their latest novels Summerwater and The  Harpy. Both novels offer a sharply observed and unsettling insight into their character’s intimate  relationships, as well as their interactions with strangers. In this podcast, they discuss writing about  relationships, creating unnerving fiction and the expectation placed on writers to make sense of the time  we are living in. Aston University This episode of the Birmingham Lit Fest Presents… podcast is brought to you in partnership with Aston University. For information about studying English at Aston, and for further information about the School of Social Sciences and Humanities, please see their website – www.aston.ac.uk - and their social media channels (Facebook/Twitter/Instagram) @AstonSSH. Olivia Chapman Hello, welcome to Birmingham Literature Festival. Thanks for joining us. I'm Olivia Chapman, I'm one of the  team at the festival. And I'm delighted to be talking to two novelists that I greatly admire today, Sarah Moss  and Megan Hunter. Sarah is going to be talking to us mainly about her seventh novel, which has just been  published this summer and is called Summerwater. It's got a cast of characters who are living, or not living, they're on holiday in a caravan park in Scotland, where it just doesn't stop raining. And it's focused on one  particular day. Megan is going to be talking to us mainly about her second book, The Harpy, which was due  to be out in June and has been delayed to the autumn because of the pandemic. The Harpy is one of the  most unsettling and kind of got-under-my-skin novels that I've read this year, focused around one family and  the relationship between husband and wife when she discovers an infidelity. So, I'm delighted for you to be  joining us, Sarah and Megan. Welcome.  Sarah Moss Thank you.  Megan HunterThank you. Olivia Chapman I wanted to start by asking both of you – but I'm going to start with Megan – about writing relationships,  writing specifically [about] a marital relationship. You both do it exceptionally well, and I very much enjoy  your writing on that particular relationship. But Megan, I wanted to ask you about the dynamic between the  husband and wife in The Harpy. You can tell from the start that they're not happy and it kind of goes further.  How was it getting right under the skin of that relationship? Megan Hunter Well, it was difficult at first and it was a new thing for me, I'd written about relationships before in The End  We Start From but that was written in a very particular way; almost, you could say in the form of a prose  poem. There weren't very many conversations, you know. They weren't really scenes as such. And in this  novel, I really was writing scenes and conversations and actually quite intimate and difficult and conflict driven sort of arguments. So that felt like a very new thing for me. But I, once I sort of got immersed in it,  and I was used to it in the novel – I mean 'enjoyed' isn't really quite the right word – but I certainly became  sort of used to it, became familiar with it and kind of was very engaged by it. But it was hard. I mean, over  the course of however long you write a novel to write about such dark and difficult things for, you know,  years on end, when, you know, you're not necessarily feeling that way yourself. That's quite difficult to keep  re-entering that dark space. Olivia Chapman And Sarah you usually – 'cos this is your seventh novel, and I've read I think all of them – but you do tend to  focus on one family or relatively few characters. Summerwater is unusual in that you have, I think, five or six  different families or different cabins that you're looking at. So, they all have slightly different dynamics, but  you get to know each character and specifically the relationships between them very, very well. How was  that for you to be kind of so deep with so many characters and their very intimate relationships?  Sarah Moss It felt like a very playful book to write. I enjoyed it and I did all of it, I mean, the metaphors I come up with  are to do with dancing, which I think is partly because of the way the narrative passes from one character to  another. Although the themes are quite dark – though not as dark as The Harpy I think – it felt like quite a  kind of, quite a light-footed book to write.  Olivia ChapmanBecause you spent less time with each family?  Sarah Moss I think because I knew that I was only with them for quite a short time. And that close third-person  narration I think is easier for that than first person because you can skip: you don't really have to introduce  each person because you just step into their proximity. Olivia Chapman So that's interesting. So it's more like you're taking a snapshot and then you kind of duck out again? Sarah Moss Yes. I mean, I'd hope something more mobile than a snapshot. But yes, absolutely. You pass through. You  kind of haunt each cabin for a little while, but then you move on. Olivia Chapman Oh, I like that imagery of haunting – the writer haunting a cabin. That's a nice way of putting it. So in my day  job I spend a lot of time working with writers and I always find it amazing the observations that they're able  to make and that they retain, often for a very long time. So, one of the questions – and I'm not a writer  myself, I should say – but one of the things that I'm always fascinated by is how you sort of collect  observations. Some people collect shells and stamps, and writers it seems to me collect observations. Does  that ring true for you, Sarah? Sarah Moss No, it doesn't feel that deliberate. And I've never been one of those writers who needs to write things down  straight away or keep some notes. I mean, I do keep a notebook with me but it's for ideas and patterns  rather than to kind of collect things from lived experience. I trust the patterns to form and I trust myself to  remember what I need to when I need it. I mean, I forget all sorts of things all the time. But I don't feel the  need to document reality as it passes. I don't take many photos. I don't use social media. I have faith in my  interactions with the world to give me what I need. Olivia Chapman That's interesting. And Megan, what about for you?  Megan Hunter Yeah, that's very interesting. I think, no, I don't formally record observations that often in a notebook. I do sometimes – I do carry a notebook. And occasionally I do that: maybe overheard things like conversation,  maybe just a little snippet of dialogue I might write down. But yeah, I think in terms of collecting experience  or memories, I think I've always been amazed by how they resurface while you write. So, when I was writing  The End We Start From, you know, that particularly was a very un-deliberate kind of writing experience. And similarly, in The Harpy, as you're writing a scene, you know, a particular memory or a comparison or, you  know, an observation just comes up when you're sort of in the flow of writing. That's one of the things I love  about writing. But I do take quite a lot of photos but I'm not sure how much they help me to retain  observations exactly. And I do use social media. Again, I'm not sure how helpful that is. But I have found a  notebook helpful at times and by and large it's just that spontaneous kind of overflow of memories while  you're writing that's what I've experienced the most.  Olivia Chapman So, one of the things that I was really struck by with both of your novels is the presence of an unknown  other. So, in The Harpy it is the harpy, the beast who pops up in various kind of interstitial chapters. And in  Summerwater it's the rain and the animals who are affected by the rain and kind of observing what I guess  would be climate change. How deliberate was it to have this sort of external, slightly unknown, slightly  menacing character who was able to observe but who was also able to sometimes influence what was  happening in the story?  Megan Hunter I actually started off with the main narrative, the main story. And then I would say, towards the end of my  first draft, which was a very, I'd not done this before because I'd usually written more editing as I went  along. But I did in this case write a sort of rough first draft, and towards the end of that I just – this sort of  creature, this image, this form just kind of emerged for me very, very strongly, almost viscerally. And as I was  writing those scenes, I felt almost sort of inhabited by this creature. And so, I knew that that was, you know,  strong enough that it, that it needed to be in the novel. And then, and then it was just a gradual process  really, through subsequent drafts of weaving that figure in and of kind of noticing where organically, you  know, there were those touchpoints in the story, and where both narratives could kind of, you know, be in  dialogue and inform one another. And, you know, and it ended up being called The Harpy and that ended up  being completely central. So, I think that was a really important experience for me of how something can  kind of, yeah, sort of organically emerge but then be very deliberately kind of woven back in. Olivia Chapman That's not what I was expecting you to say, so that's very interesting. Thank you. I expected the image of the  harpy to be the starting point. Megan Hunter Ah, yeah. Olivia Chapman Yeah, and I know writers don't always get terribly much say in their book covers but the image on the front  of The Harpy is incredibly striking with the woman with the bird effectively as half of her face. Did you – is  that what you had in your mind? Were you part of that creation at all? Megan Hunter Yes. So actually, when I sent, I mean when I sent the first draft off, it already had a sort of, I sent it with a  cover that was like a woman with wings. I've never done that before. But it was like, from the beginning I  had this very particular visual. I mean when I say a cover, it wasn't a physical thing. It was a Word document  with a picture at the front, which was this sort of sculpture really of a woman with wings. So, I knew. It was  pretty early but yeah; it did come after the sort of betrayal story. And I knew yes visually. It was quite a  visual thing for me as well as a visceral thing. And so, when I saw that cover, and when they sent it to me, it  was amazing, because it felt completely right immediately and quite important in a way to have that sort of  visual, you know, touchpoint in relation to the book. Olivia Chapman And Sarah, with regards to Summerwater and the sort of, there's several menacing factors which kind of all weave into the ending, but the rain and the observations by the animals which are between each of the  stories of each cabin. Again, I'm interested to know how deliberate that was and whether that was always  going to be a very big part of the narrative of this book. Sarah Moss I think as for Megan, it kind of emerged through the first draft. This book was less planned than many of my  others have been; I think, maybe than all of the others have been. And it really was just an experiment to  see what would happen. I mean, I started it not thinking, 'This is the next book', but just, 'I wonder what  happens if I try this?'. So those little interstitial bits came up – it was absolutely, 'Oh, you know, what  happens if I do this? How does it look?' given that I'm thinking about climates and about bodies in weather  and about water cycles. And there's a bit where one of the characters at the beginning running in the rain is  thinking about the water outside her skin and the water inside her skin and the water above her head and  the water under her feet. I'm very interested in that idea of bodies on land in weather as part of land and weather. So, it made sense then to be thinking about the other entities in that landscape; that the humans are not the only beings with stories who are in this place. And I just tried it to see how it went. And I was  quite pleased with it and I kept doing it.  Olivia Chapman I love that idea that even you are, you know, you're seven novels in or this is your seventh novel and you're  still, you're still playing.  Sarah Moss Yeah. Olivia Chapman You go into it without a plan necessarily and you're still playing, and I think there's something glorious  about writing being playful for you.  Sarah Moss I think it's a later discovery for me. I mean, I was an academic before I was a novelist, and my early novels  were definitely planned and researched quite earnestly. I mean, I was never a great planner even as an  academic but by my standards planned and researched earnestly. And as I've gone on, I think it's partly the  confidence of middle age as well – I'm quite interested in the idea of midlife as I enter it or progress through  it. There's something about being mid-career, midlife, having a certain, a certain amount behind me that  makes me feel much more confident about play and experiment than I used to. Olivia Chapman So that brings me on to a question that I've wanted to ask because it strikes me that women writers are  referred to as women writers and it's something I detest, and try avidly not to do, although I'll admit that  every so often I do it by accident. But the women that you write, both of you, in these novels are the ones  who hold the households together. They're the ones who are – especially the ones with kids in the case of  Sarah, that not all of your characters have children that they're looking after – but the mothers are, they're  holding the household together: they're planning the meals, they're working out who needs new shoes,  they're thinking about cleaning, they're, you know, they're holding the household together, and they  support – their existence allows for the rest of the family to exist at all. And I find that interesting when you  are both mothers and writers and have other responsibilities be they, you know, family or careers or  whatever. Is that deliberate, first of all? But also, is that a reflection on what you see around you where the  mothers are the ones who are holding it all together, whilst doing what it seems much more than anyone  else? Megan, I wonder if maybe you can answer that one first?Megan Hunter Sure, yeah. I mean, I think that is very much my experience in terms of what I've observed around me. It's  not necessarily really particularly my own experience within my marriage. But I would say that I do, yeah, I  do notice that kind of over and over again, really. And I think it's quite interesting the extent to which, you  know, in many ways things have changed hugely. And in another way, there's the well, the often discussed, you know, mental load, and what that sort of consists of. And I think that's very difficult to kind of, to get  away from actually, even if you are in a more sort of equal partnership. And then many people are not in  equal partnerships either, you know. Women still do a much greater proportion of housework, you know – every time they do those surveys, and that's what comes out. And I think it's interesting that, well,  'interesting' in inverted commas in lockdown, obviously, that, you know, there's been a lot of stories  emerging, and studies about the fact that women are bearing the brunt of the home education and the  housework in that situation, even if both parents work. So yes, it's probably something I could sort of  soapbox about for a while. But I was just, I was very interested in that and I suppose I was, yeah, playing a  bit in the novel with slightly, perhaps slightly satirising that and perhaps slightly, you know, delving into the  sort of depths of, you know, pushing it to quite an extreme with Lucy, sort of, you know, obsessive children's  party planning and, you know, things of that nature where, you know, fairly trivial things actually end up  sort of taking over her mind in a way that, you know, she wouldn't necessarily choose and yet she is  choosing. But then is she, you know? And just exploring really the complications of that position. Sarah Moss Hmm, I'll join Megan on her soapbox. I think that, I mean, I agree with everything she's said really and I  don't have a lot add to that. I've written previously in The Tidal Zone, with a man as the housekeeper, the  cook, the one responsible for the kids. Which was interesting to write and also quite interesting to publicise  and the reaction to that book was intriguing. I think there's also a narrative element about that mental load,  because it's very hard to share. I mean, I too live in a relationship where things feel pretty equal most of the  time. But we do that partly by having a pretty rigid division of who's responsible for what because the story  of what's in the fridge is mine, really: I do the food shopping, I do the cooking, I know who's eating what, I  know how much milk we're getting through in a particular week – which depends on who's growing on that  particular week. There's a kind of narrative of that which is hard to share with any other narrative. And my  husband will have the story of the laundry, which is who's done which sports in that week, and what the  weather's been like, and how fast things have been able to dry, and if somebody had a nosebleed or fell  over in the mud, or whatever it is. But I think these things are intriguing to write about exactly because of  that, because there's a running story, which isn't always at all interesting in real life – you can make it  interesting when you write about it. But the story of the laundry and what's in the fridge is also the story of what's happening for that particular family at that particular time. Olivia Chapman Yes, and I think for both of you actually, that's what I really loved with both novels was that I felt – even if  you only see them for quite brief moments – I felt like I was in that character's head. And it is that running  narrative that both of you do so well, which allows you to get into that character's head, I wanted to ask you  both about revenge. Now this is particularly germane to The Harpy. As I say it's one of the books that I  found the most unsettling and raced through when we read it as a bound proof back at the start of the year.  But the issue of revenge is obviously key to The Harpy and I don't want to give too much away for those  who haven't read it. But there is an infidelity and an agreement is made between the couple that revenge  will be exacted by the hurt party. And it's quite sudden and it's quite explicit, and it's quite, I found it quite  shocking. And Sarah in Summerwater the revenge is maybe more oblique, but it's certainly, there's a cruelty  there and there's a sort of building tension of how this might unfold. So, I'm going to start with Megan but  the almost literal pound of flesh that is demanded by Lucy, how did that come about? And how comfortable  was it to be writing that? Megan Hunter Yeah, I wouldn't say it was comfortable at all. I, yeah, I think I just, I became very interested in thinking  through issues of sort of betrayal, forgiveness and a certain kind of fairytale patterning and sort of almost  mythical patterning that to be sort of imposed on everyday life, which is obviously much more sort of  shapeless and amorphous and not something where, you know, people usually have these sorts of  agreements. And I just, yeah, I just became sort of fascinated, almost, almost kind of against my will – I  mean, obviously not against my will – but I was, sort of kept thinking, 'Am I really gonna write a book about  this: this doesn't seem very sort of me somehow, you know?' I wrote this very sort of, well, I mean I say it's  my cheerful book, my first book, but obviously it's about a dystopia so it's not that cheerful, but it's a very,  it's quite a warm book about love between a mother and a child. And this book felt much, much darker. So I  kind of, I felt myself almost sort of drawn into writing it. And yeah, at times it was very uncomfortable. But I  sort of sensed that it was necessary for me to just, to keep going with that, and to not turn away from, you  know, that which yeah, I found dark and difficult – and to kind of, and to push through that as a writer. And I  mean I'm pleased that I did but yeah, it wasn't comfortable and it didn't always feel like necessarily the  most natural subject choice. But, and I think, you know, when I told people about it, friends or family they  always looked quite surprised. But, I think it's just such a fascinating story to me. And then, you know,  hopefully to other people. Yeah, it just intrigued me to come from that premise. Olivia ChapmanSarah, the menace that kind of comes to a head towards the end of the novel is more subtle in Summerwater but it's equally as threatening, and it all revolves around a family who are unknown to  everyone else – they're from somewhere else. I don't think from, my memory, they're never explicitly, we  don't explicitly know where they're from. But their child is subject to an incident of bullying, and then  there's kind of all kinds of rhetoric around how the rest of the residents on this caravan park are feeling  towards them. How were you trying to portray that building up of tension? And was it as simple as you want  to create an issue and you want to say something about this issue, and the feelings that these people have  will all come to a head in a rather big way? Sarah Moss No, it wasn't that planned. I'm clearly going to keep saying that all the way through, 'this book was not  planned at all'. I was thinking when Megan was talking that the idea of revenge comes from a fantasy of  justice, an idea that things can be set right or that wrong can be undone or redressed in some way, and  that's … And Megan you said it, it works against the model of real life, and I think that, that's really true because it's about, it's about narrative structure and the idea that there might be a satisfying ending, which  of course, in real life, there isn't – I mean, there are ends but there are almost never endings. And I think in  Summerwater it wasn't about choosing characters who were trying to bring about particular states, it was  about the shape of the narrative itself; that the shape of story demands justice or injustice, depending on  whether it's comedy or tragedy. So those are really the only options that you have. I mean, there isn't, you  can't write a story which has neither, well, it's very difficult to write a story that has neither a just nor an  unjust ending. Because narrative itself demands that you do that, or not even demand, but simply does it.  And as I was writing, actually I wasn't sure when I was writing the first draft until quite late whether I was  going towards a comedic or a tragic ending. One of the points of conflict is a household on this holiday park  who have loud parties late at night, mysteriously, because it's quite remote and it's not clear who's getting  to the parties or where from. And I think the way you respond to your neighbours having fun is such a  fundamental question about community and individuality. Do you want to make it stop or do you take a  bottle and go round? And that's really the question that everybody on the caravan park has to address in  the end as this noise becomes intolerable, as you can't ignore it anymore. And some of them take a bottle  and go round and some of them want to make it stop. But those are really the only two options at that  point, and I think the book could have gone either way.  Olivia Chapman That's fascinating to me that you didn't know whether it was going to be one ending or the other right up until you were actually writing it. It's interesting you use the example of the neighbours and what the  neighbours are up to. Of course, we're recording this at the end of the summer. We are in some form of lockdown still; things have not gone back to normal. And obviously, we've all gone through months of  various stages of lockdown. I would love to know how you as writers have found lockdown? Sarah, I wonder  if I can start with you? How has this lockdown been for you as a writer? Sarah Moss Extraordinarily difficult in ways that I feel very ashamed of. I thought I should have been absolutely fine in  lockdown – we're financially pretty secure, my livelihood is not at risk, everybody in my house gets on  pretty well, nobody needs to fear anybody else, you know there was always going to be enough food.  Really, we had no problems whatsoever. You know I check my privilege and it's there every single time. But I  found it really hard, particularly at the beginning. And I think for me that was partly that lockdown freaked  me out a lot more than COVID freaked me out. And I've been thinking about this. I mean, it's not that I think  lockdown is wrong. I'm absolutely not a Trump-supporting mask-refuser. I mean, clearly, it was necessary  and clearly it was the only thing to do, even though it was a terrible thing to do. But I think quite a lot about  social breakdown and about authoritarian government, and I have a Jewish refugee background. And the  moment when it becomes the law that you may not send your children to school, and you may not leave  your house except under very strict conditions, is a moment when all the ancestral voices in my head go off.  And it took me a while to realise that that was what was happening because I was very lonely in my fear of  lockdown when everybody else was much more scared of COVID – which is, of course, reasonable: COVID is  much more frightening than lockdown. And that didn't help me write at all. I mean, I wasn't really in a  waiting phase at the time anyway. But that, the fear and the sense that my own immediate environment was fundamentally transformed by something I couldn't see was not helpful for me in any way. And I was  thinking about this also in relation to what you said about the question about motherhood and  responsibility for the house. I think that for a lot of women the house is not the place where you do your  thinking or where you have your professional life, I think for probably for most adults, but particularly for  women, the house is a place of work. And it's a place that demands endless, repetitive, not very interesting  labour; and the more people are in it, the more of that labour there is, and the less space there is for the  people who are responsible for that labour to do any thinking or making or reading or reflecting. So, yeah, I  mean, I look around houses and I see work that hasn't been done and it should be done, not necessarily by me but certainly by me or somebody else and that doesn’t help me write. Olivia Chapman Megan, how have you found lockdown, both as a writer and I suppose just kind of as someone who was,  well, you were due to be published in June, and it got delayed until this autumn. So how has it been? Megan Hunter Yes. I mean, I feel like it's had very different sort of distinct phases for me really, and it feels like, you know,  in one sense obviously no time at all, and in another sense, it feels like it's been, I don't know, years and  years. I mean, I was ill actually. So, I had I think suspected COVID at the beginning of lockdown for quite a  number of weeks. And so that kind of really determined my initial experience of it. So, all the time when  everything was so quiet and there were no cars on the road, I was just in bed. So, I was kind of out of it for  the first bit. And then I sort of emerged and was kind of happy to be, you know, in the sunshine and just  sitting in the garden and things like that. And then I was quite happy to be writing for a while and kind of  writing in calm and quiet without, in a sense, that pressure and that exposure of publication. And it seemed  like the right thing to postpone because obviously there were no bookshops open at that point. I think with  the book coming out now I feel quite keenly a series of sort of senses of loss, you know, loss, and a sense of  not really being caught up somehow still to what's happened; and to what has been lost. You know, I think  there's a remote part of book publishing which is the same. So, you know, you write your book on your  own, somebody reads it on their own, and things like, you know, social media, it's all taking place at a  distance. So that's familiar. But that's always been sort of countered by yeah, the more physical encounters, the journeys. And as Sarah was saying, I think as a woman and as a mother, it's been quite important for me  to go away actually, often. You know, I go to London, I see people, I go to events and I'm a different person, I  sort of escape for a while. That's all completely stopped. And so, I do feel, yeah, a sort of a soreness about  that and a difficulty, which I guess we're all going through. And the kind of, the quiet writing period of  lockdown feels distant. And I don't know, I've been in my life quite reliant on working in libraries and cafes,  similarly to Sarah mentioned about being out of the house. And so, you know, I'm thinking how I can  incorporate some of that sense into my writing life going forward. I mean, in a sense I can't, but I'm thinking  about maybe going to a friend of a friend's house once a week, using their spare room or, you know. I mean,  I'm very lucky, I have a, I actually have a writing place in the garden. But there's something about actually  getting away entirely and having that headspace, which I think is really quite important for me.  Olivia Chapman That then brings me on to what might well be my last question. But the question is around the  responsibility or the maybe responsibility's the wrong word, the reliance the rest of us have on writers to  document and interpret things like, frankly, this chaotic, crazy year that we're still in the middle of, and  whether you feel that responsibility, whether that feels like a burden or something that you actually  embrace? So that's the first part of the question. And the second one is: how do you write? How are you  finding the space or time or structure to write both at the moment and I suppose more generally? Megan,  I’ll maybe start with you. You mentioned you've got a writing space in the garden, but it sounds like you've  got to the stage where actually you want something different now, you've had enough of that and you need  a physical change of space?Megan Hunter Yeah, I mean, I'll still mainly be here, and I do love it and it's got its own, you know, advantages over being in  a library, for example. But I think it's just that balance between, you know – I work, I work with students a  bit at the university as well and that's all now gone online. So it's, you know, it's having a balance in one's  life between being in a room on one's own and being out and about. So I think it's that, I think it's, yeah,  finding that balance. And in terms of how I write, I mean, we have a very strict sort of week. My husband  and I share the writing room at the moment because he works from home, and so we have a very strict  timetable in Google Calendar. And, you know, that is how I write because we are, we just pass the baton  really like relay runners pretty much all day, every day, and that's, yeah, that's how we do it. There was another part of your question about responsibility of writing about the present moment. Initially, when  everything first happened, I was writing quite a lot of, I wrote something about being ill. And I've written  things about, I've written stories, which kind of have an illness theme or, you know, pandemic theme, but  I'm not, I feel like it's good to let, if possible, to leave a bit of, usually, for most writers, it's good to leave a  bit of time. And kind of, you know, it's okay to write those things at the time. I mean, it's good and it's, if  you're a writer, then you write, and that's how often you process things and make sense of them. But I think  it's good to then leave them and then come back to them and sort of see how they fare because when  everything's happening, I mean, like any piece of writing, you know, you just have to let it sit for a while,  don't you? And so, if you're trying to respond to the immediate moment, and perhaps publish in the  immediate moment in response to that moment, I think that, you know, that can be difficult because  writing needs, it needs time and space to become clear, I think. At least my writing does. Olivia Chapman Sarah, how do you feel? Sarah Moss I agree with Megan. Absolutely the point about needing to leave it, and I mean, I had COVID as well early in  March. So right kind of, slightly before and right at the beginning of lockdown, and then trailing on for  weeks afterwards. And during those weeks I was writing. I mean, there were a surprising number of editors  asking novelists to write things about COVID and I kept thinking, 'Why don't you go find an epidemiologist?  You know, what can I do with it? I don't know anything about this'. But those pieces all had to be binned as I  went along because I was writing too much in the moment and too much with the strength of my own  reactions, and without even the perspective that I have now, let alone that we will all come to in the  months and years to come. I mean, there were exceptions, but I think broadly, that kind of writing is  probably more like journalism than fiction. So, I'm not, I mean, I started a project in lockdown, which I think I'm probably not going to continue. And I'm now thinking about something else. But neither of those are  pandemic writing projects. I'm sure we'll all have a lot to say about this for a very long time, but I feel much  more called to try to make something beautiful that somebody can enjoy during hard times rather than  make something about hard times. Olivia Chapman  So for you it's more about creating something which can have either a contrast or a bit of an escapist  element to it? Sarah Moss That's how I feel at the moment. I mean, I'm certainly not claiming that that's the role of literature in life or  anything so general. For me just, I mean I've been saying this for a while that I want to try to make the book  that you take with you when you get under the table because the bombs are falling and that book was not  going to be a book about bombs, ever. Olivia Chapman Yes, that’s a very, very true statement. I'm delighted to have spoken to you both. Thank you both. I am very  much excited by these novels. I'm excited to know what you're writing next. I will be the first person  begging a bound proof from your publisher as and when the next books come out. Sarah Moss's novel is  called Summerwater. It's published now. And Megan Hunter's novel is called The Harpy. Thank you both for  joining us at Birmingham Literature Festival. Sarah Moss Thank you.  Megan Hunter Thank you. Outro message Thank you for listening to this week’s episode of the Birmingham Lit Fest presents…podcast. If you enjoyed  this episode, we’d love for you to tell us about it – leave us a review or a rating and find us on Instagram,  Twitter and Facebook @bhamlitfest. You can download our latest podcast episodes, every Thursday, from  all the places you would normally get your podcasts and find transcripts of our episodes in the shownotes  and on our website at www.birminghamliteraturefestival.org . Details about our full programme can also be  found on our website. Until then, happy reading!The Birmingham Lit Fest Presents... podcast is curated by Shantel Edwards and produced by 11C and  Birmingham Podcast Studios for Writing West Midlands.


19 Nov 2020

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Podcast Extra: Sarah Moss & Ian McGuire

The Bookshelf

Two writers on this podcast extra edition of the Bookshelf, both of whom write very broadly in a ‘Northern’ English tradition. Sarah Moss and Ian McGuire speak (separately) with Kate Evans


13 Sep 2020

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John Connolly and Sarah Moss (We think in eras, but we live in moments)

Book Off!

Joe Haddow is joined by two fabulous authors, who go head to head in a War Of The Words. In this episode, international-bestselling author John Connolly talks about his latest Charlie Parker novel and academic and author Sarah Moss tells us how her latest novella was inspired by a pretty rubbish holiday.Both authors discuss how they create sense of place in their books, tell us what they've been reading lately and pit Dorothy Wordsworth's "The Grasmere Journals" up against Irmgard Kuen's "Child Of All Nations". But which one will win? See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.


8 Sep 2020

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Mur Duchów Sarah Moss

Z kotem czytane

Cześć i czołem!      Dzisiaj na pogaduchach będziemy rozmawiać o tym, że literatura piękna jest trochę niedoceniania, pozbędziemy się schematów "dobrego czytelnika" i opowiem Wam więcej o "Mur Duchów" autorstwa Sarah Moss od Wydawnictwa Poznańskiego. Oszczędna słowach książka, która porusza od środka. Nie tylko poznamy opowieść Silvie, ale skupimy się też na patriarchacie, roli kobiety i tym, gdzie leży granica między miłością a przemocą.     A Wy czytacie literaturę piękną? Co byście mi polecili? :)  Zapraszam na podcast! Wkrocz do czytelniczego świata i zostań ze mną na dłużej! ♥    Subskrybuj kanał, bądźmy na bieżąco!  A jeśli chcesz, abym poruszyła   ważny dla Ciebie temat bądź przeczytała  konkretny tytuł książki, napisz   do mnie: zkotemczytane@gmail.com     Życzę  Ci książkowych uniesień i do usłyszenia!        ~~Social Media:     𝓩 𝓴𝓸𝓽𝓮𝓶 𝓬𝔃𝔂𝓽𝓪𝓷𝓮    Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/zkotemczytane Blog: https://zkotemczytane.wordpress.com/ Anchor: https://anchor.fm/z-kotem-czytane YT: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC9dRAoTN8keq6_iUfHwJH6Q 𝓜𝓪𝓻𝓪𝓽𝓸𝓷 𝓬𝔃𝔂𝓽𝓮𝓵𝓷𝓲𝓬𝔃𝔂    https://zkotemczytane.wordpress.com/2020/08/05/maraton-czytelniczy-08-2020/ Grupa Facebookowa:   https://www.facebook.com/groups/660735538122419/?source_id=104656697905855 -> W odcinku został użyty utwór z biblioteki audio Youtube - Allegro: Emmit Fenn #podcastoksiążkach #coczytać


23 Aug 2020