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Meg Mason and Nina Stibbe in Bath

Thursday 21st April

  • Venue The Bookshop
  • Doors open 7pm
  • Start time 7.30pm
Image of Meg Mason and Nina Stibbe

We are excited to announce a joint event with two brilliant writers – Meg Mason and Nina Stibbe – to celebrate and discuss their work. Our event ties in with the paperback release of Mason’s phenomenal Sorrow and Bliss, and the publication of Stibbe’s new novel One Day I Will Astonish The World.

Meg Mason began her journalism career at the Financial Times and The Times, and her work has since appeared in VogueGrazia, and The Sunday Times amongst others. Her novel, Sorrow and Bliss, was for many (including our own booksellers!) the book of the summer and has just been longlisted for the Women’s Prize for Fiction 2022.

Martha Friel is told by everyone around her she is clever and beautiful, a brilliant writer who has been loved every day of her adult life by one man, her husband Patrick. A gift, her mother once said, not everybody gets.

So why is everything broken? Why is Martha – on the edge of 40 – friendless, practically jobless and so often sad? And why did Patrick decide to leave?

Maybe she is just too sensitive, someone who finds it harder to be alive than most people. Or maybe – as she has long believed – there is something wrong with her. Something that broke when a little bomb went off in her brain, at 17, and left her changed in a way that no doctor or therapist has ever been able to explain.

Forced to return to her childhood home to live with her dysfunctional, bohemian parents (but without the help of her devoted, foul-mouthed sister Ingrid), Martha has one last chance to find out whether a life is ever too broken to fix – or whether, maybe, by starting over, she will get to write a better ending for herself.

Nina Stibbe was born in Leicester. She is the author of two works of non-fiction – Love, Nina and An Almost Perfect Christmas – and three previous novels:  Man at the HelmParadise Lodge, and Reasons to be Cheerful, which is the only novel to have won both the Bollinger Everyman Wodehouse Prize for Comic Fiction and the Comedy Women in Print Award.  Love, Nina won Non-Fiction Book of the Year and was adapted into a BBC TV series.

She joins us to talk about her new novel, One Day I Shall Astonish The World, a story about the ebb and flow of female friendship over half a lifetime.

Susan and Norma have been best friends for years, at first thrust together by force of circumstance (a job at The Pin Cushion, a haberdashery shop in 1990s Leicestershire) and then by force of character (neither being particularly inclined to make friends with anyone else). But now, thirty years later, faced with a husband seeking immortality and Norma out of reach on a wave of professional glory, Susan begins to wonder whether she has made the right choices about life, love, work, and, most importantly, friendship.

This is the story of the wonderful and sometimes surprising path of friendship: from its conspiratorial beginnings, along its irritating wrong turns, to its final gratifying destination.

Nina and Meg will be interviewed by the brilliant Caroline Sanderson. Your ticket is fully redeemable against either a copy of Sorrow and Bliss or One Day I Shall Astonish The World. Join us for an evening of fantastic, literary conversation, insight and laughter.