Episode 9

Feminism in a nuclear winter and anger as fuel for writing with Claire Zorn

Claire Zorn is a multi-award-winning author of young adult literature. Her resume of awards is incredibly impressive including the Children’s Book Council of Australia awards, the Inky Awards, the Prime Minister’s Literary Awards, and multiple state Premier’s awards. Today we are discussing her new novel When We Are Invisible, a sequel to her stunning post-apocalyptic debut The Sky So Heavy. 

Our interview starts at 16 minutes. 

Caitlin recommends:

Fisk (TV show)

An enjoyable  and witty new ABC sitcom by comedian Kitty Flanagan. Perfect for fans of Utopia or Rosehaven. 

Michelle recommends:

The Syndicate (TV show)

An underrated television drama about what happens to a group of co-workers when they win a life-changing amount of money in the lottery. 

In this interview, we talk about:

  • Why Claire wanted to return to the world of her debut novel The Sky So Heavy in When We Are Invisible and why she switched perspective to Lucy for the second novel
  • Exploring patriarchal notions of power and society in a post-apocalyptic setting
  • Why anger at the patriarchy is a compelling force for Claire when writing
  • How Claire researched a nuclear winter and apocalyptic world
  • Expectation and success and the impact on the creative process
  • The success of The Sky So Heavy (especially with teenage boys who still write to Claire about the book)

Books and other things mentioned:

Follow Claire on Instagram @claire_zorn

Follow us on Instagram @betterwordspod

When We Are Invisible is available now in Australia.

We both received copies of When We Are Invisible for from University of Queensland Press.  

About the Podcast

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Better Words

About your hosts

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Caitlin Toohey

Hi, I'm Caitlin! I've been on bookstagram since 2016, a podcaster since 2017, and worked in publishing since 2019. So books and reading are my entire life. When I'm not reading, I like listening to Taylor Swift, watching sitcoms, and generally being a theatre kid.
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Michelle Gately

Hi, I'm Michelle! I'm an Aussie living in the UK, working as a bookseller at Waterstones. I'm obsessed with storytelling in all its forms – I spend as much time watching TV or listening to podcasts as I do reading. Other hobbies include bouldering, hiking and generally obsessing about my pug Percy.