*** DEBUG END ***

Podcast: Susanna Clarke on Piranesi, illness, and faith

10 December 2020

0:00 / 0:00

Piranesi, the long-awaited second novel by Susanna Clarke, has been published to critical acclaim. Last month, it was shortlisted for the 2020 Costa Book Awards.

Clarke’s 2004 novel, Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell, has sold more than four million copies worldwide and been adapted into a BBC television series. After its publication, Clarke suffered from a debilitating illness which made it difficult for her to write.

On this week’s podcast, Sarah Lothian interviews Susanna Clarke about how she came to write Piranesi and about how her faith has developed over the course of her illness.

She says: “I remember someone once saying that Christianity was very simple. And I thought, ‘Well, it might have a simplicity, but it’s not a simplicity that, I think, is necessarily easily grasped by human beings.’

“I feel I’m struggling towards faith, a simpler, more childlike faith, but I’m trying to get rid of all the neuroses and the difficulties that have accumulated like barnacles, and scrape them off and get back to simplicity.”

Piranesi is published by Bloomsbury at £14.99 in hardback (Church Times Bookshop £13.49).

Click the play button above to listen to this podcast. You can also listen to 
the Church Times Podcast on the Church Times app for iPhone and iPadSoundCloud, Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Spotify, and most other podcast platforms.

Browse Church and Charity jobs on the Church Times jobsite

Forthcoming Events

Green Church Awards

Closing date: 30 June 2024

Read more details about the awards


Festival of Preaching

15-17 September 2024

The festival moves to Cambridge along with a sparkling selection of expert speakers

tickets available



Festival of Faith and Literature

28 February - 2 March 2025

The festival programme is soon to be announced sign up to our newsletter to stay informed about all festival news.

Festival website


ViSIt our Events page for upcoming and past events 

Most Popular

Past Week
Past Month

Welcome to the Church Times


To explore the Church Times website fully, please sign in or subscribe.

Non-subscribers can read four articles for free each month. (You will need to register.)