Episode 5

A novel in stories and exploring family dynamics with Emma Darragh

Emma Darragh spends most of her time on Gadigal and Dharawal Lands. She holds a PhD in Creative Writing from the University of Wollongong, where she works as a sessional academic. Her writing has appeared in numerous Australian publications, including Cordite, Westerly, Meniscus, TEXT, and The Big Issue Fiction Edition. Emma’s debut novel-in-stories, Thanks for Having Me, is published by JOAN.

Our interview begins at  25:00

We've got a Substack publication now! On the last day of the month, we share recommendations for two things we reckon you should read/watch/listen to. The beauty of Substack is you can revisit all our old editions and comment on our episode updates to share your thoughts. Come say hi!

Mini book club: Prima Facie by Suzie Miller

Tessa has built a prestigious career as a barrister, a world away from her working-class roots. But when she is raped on a date with a colleague, she must reckon with everything she's believed about the law and justice. This is a stunning, thought-provoking and emotional novel.

Michelle received a copy for review from the publisher in the UK.

In this interview, we chat about:

  • The story cycle format of Thanks for Having Me
  • How the character of Vivienne inspired the novel
  • How you structure a novel that's intentionally meant to be read out of order and the way Emma approached the writing process
  • Emma's journey to publication

Books and other things mentioned:

  • The Work by Bri Lee
  • RBG (play by Suzi Miller)
  • Eggshell Skull by Bri Lee
  • Olive Kitteridge by Elizabeth Strout
  • A Visit from the Goon Squad by Jennifer Egan
  • Dubliners by James Joyce
  • Alice Munro (author)
  • Rubik by Elizabeth Tan
  • The Flight of Birds by Joshua Lobb

Follow @emmaldarragh on Instagram.

Thanks for Having Me is available in Australia now. Thank you to the publisher for providing copies in preparation for the interview.

Connect with us on Instagram: @betterwordspod

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.