Madeleine Watts’s unforgettable debut The Inland Sea is a coming-of-age story set in an increasingly hostile world. A restless young woman spends her last year in Sydney reeling from self-destructive obsessions, in a story that builds to a tightly controlled crescendo of ecological and personal crisis. Leslie Jamison (The Empathy Exams) says it “reached into a mysterious subcutaneous zone where I felt displaced, unhinged, inexplicably consoled, inexplicably rearranged, somehow enlarged”. Madeleine talks with Léa Antigny about a world and a woman coming undone in a novel that brings to mind Renata Adler’s Pitch Dark and Helen Garner’s Monkey Grip.

Madeleine Watts (Australian)

Madeleine Watts

Madeleine Watts's debut novel is The Inland Sea. Her essays and fiction have been published in The Believer, Lithub, The White Review, Los Angeles Review of Books, Griffith Review, and The Lifted Brow, among others. She is the winner of the 2015 Griffith Review Novella Competition. Originally from Sydney, she has been based in New York since 2013.

Léa Antigny (Australian)

Léa Antigny

Léa Antigny is a writer and publicist whose non-fiction work has been published in The Guardian, Kill Your Darlings and The Lifted Brow. She recently completed her MA in Literature and Creative Writing at Western Sydney University. She is currently Head of Publicity at Pantera Press.