Elizabeth Day interview: ‘You can feel as though you’re failing because you’re comparing your insides with everyone else’s outsides’

Author Elizabeth Day is perhaps best known for her books and podcast exploring the deep learning and ultimate success that comes only through failure. True to form, her latest novel, Magpie, derives its considerable strength from exploring a very personal vulnerability

4th September, 2021
Elizabeth Day interview: ‘You can feel as though you’re failing because you’re comparing your insides with everyone else’s outsides’
Elizabeth Day: ‘I started to wonder what it would be like to ask people about the times things went wrong, because I realised that, for all that I felt that I had failed in my 30s, I survived every single one of those failures, and every single one of them had taught me something in the fullness of time.’ Picture: Jenny Smith

It’s hard to do small talk with Elizabeth Day. That’s not because she’s not good at it. The British novelist is easy company, even having just made her acquaintance over the phone. She’s clear-sighted in her views, wide-ranging in her thinking, and kind in her compliments about my questions, even though this interview takes place on a Friday evening, at a point when any interviewee could be expected to flag a little....

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