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Female anger and family curses with Mary Watson
Episode 815th June 2022 • Better Words • Michelle Gately & Caitlin Toohey
00:00:00 00:54:44

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Mary Watson is from Cape Town and now lives on the west coast of Ireland. She’s worked as an art museum guide, library assistant, theatre duty manager, and an actor in children’s musicals. She has a PhD from the University of Cape Town where she taught for many years. She won the Caine Prize in 2006, and the Philida Award in 2022. She writes short stories, young adult fantasy and thrillers. Her YA debut, The Wren Hunt, was shortlisted for the Irish Book Awards. Today we are discussing her new YA novel, Blood to Poison.

Our interview begins at  00:12:00

Caitlin recommends: Book Lovers by Emily Henry

A fun read that plays on (and twists) our favourite romance tropes.

Michelle recommends: One Ordinary Day at a Time by Sarah J Harris

A moving and beautiful contemporary novel about two unlikely friends who have the power to change each other's lives.

In this interview, we chat about:

  • How Mary's own family curse and grief inspired the novel
  • Female anger, shame and intergenerational anger
  • The joy Mary found in writing about her South African homeland after writing about Ireland in her previous YA books
  • The magic Mary invented for the novel and the 'real strange' found in South Africa
  • Mary's publishing journey and moving from adult literary books to YA after a career as an academic

Books and other things mentioned:

  • Beach Read and You and Me on Vacation by Emily Henry

Follow Mary Watson on Instagram @Marym_watson

Blood to Poison is available now. Thank you to Bloomsbury for sending us copies of the book to read in preparation for the interview.

Connect with us on Instagram: @betterwordspod