Festival Program

City Program

Internal Affairs

Sun 12 Sep, 10am
The Wheeler Centre, Performance Space

Hear from two of the country’s most refreshingly distinct literary voices as they discuss their breakthrough novels which both conjure nuanced depictions of women’s interior lives. Meg Mason‘s Sorrow and Bliss is a bleakly funny coming-of-age confessional that has drawn comparisons to Phoebe Waller-Bridge’s Fleabag and has been called ‘fresh and revelatory … sharp, racy and entertaining’ (The Saturday Paper). Claire ThomasThe Performance explores the fears and desires of three women attending a play in Melbourne as a bushfire encroaches, earning praise as ‘a project of living [that] is rendered with compassionate clarity’ (New York Times). Mason will appear live via video with on-stage participants Thomas and interviewer Abigail Ulman.


1 hour



Event artists

Meg Mason began her career at The Financial Times and The Times of London. She has written humour for The New Yorker, and was a regular contributor to Vogue, ELLE and Marie Claire, before turning to fiction full-time. Sorrow and Bliss, her third book, was published in 2020.

Claire Thomas is the author of The Performance, published internationally, including by Hachette (ANZ), Riverhead (US), W&N (UK) and Gallimard (France). Her first novel Fugitive Blue won the Dobbie Award and was longlisted for the Miles Franklin. Claire has a PhD from the University of Melbourne, where she taught for many years.

Abigail Ulman is the author of the short story collection Hot Little Hands.

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