Death, depression and the struggles of getting through the day might not sound like a fun way to spend an hour, but when these big topics are tackled by the authors of two of the buzziest novels of last year, the result promises to be as darkly funny as it is honest.

Meg Mason (Sorrow and Bliss) and Ewa Ramsey (The Morbids) wrote two of the hits of the past twelve months, with novels acclaimed for their razor-sharp wit and canny  sense of humour. Meg’s Sorrow and Bliss circles the breakdown of a marriage, retracing a history of hurts, failures and disappointments to manage a path through family and selfhood. And Ewa’s titular ‘Morbids’ are a support group for people with death anxiety. Her novel follows a member of the group, Caitlin, as she comes to terms with her past and learns to start living again, and brings a ‘hopeful and heartfelt’ approach to its tale of friendship, kindness and courage in unexpected places. Meg and Ewa discuss their novels that both explore the nuances of mental illness with compassion and a dry sense of humour with The Guarian's Bridie Jabour.

Meg Mason (Australian)

Meg Mason

Meg Mason began her career at The Times, London and has since written for Vogue, ELLE, GQ and The New Yorker. Sorrow and Bliss is her third book, published in Australia in 2020. It has since sold in more than 20 countries and will be published in 16 languages, and has been optioned for screen by the US studio, New Regency.

Ewa Ramsey (Australian)

Ewa Ramsey

Ewa Ramsey is an emerging writer and arts administrator based in Newcastle, NSW. She has presented short fiction at the National Young Writers Festival, won a commendation in the Newcastle Short Story Award and been a finalist in the Newcastle Herald Short Story Competition. She has also written for PC&Tech Authority, and worked as an editorial assistant and pop culture writer and reviewer for Atomic magazine. She is currently Operations Manager for the Newcastle Writers Festival and on the board of the National Young Writers Festival. She is the author of The Morbids.

Bridie Jabour (Australian)

Bridie Jabour

Bridie Jabour is the opinion editor at Guardian Australia. She is the author of The Way Things Should Be, and the upcoming book of essays Trivial Grievances.