This month’s guest is Mary Pauline Lowry, who wrote The Roxy Letters. Mary is married to a Brit, and she had lots of fascinating insights about the cultural differences between the countries, and I loved talking to her back about Bridget Jones and Jane Austen too. The Roxy Letters was one of my favourite reads of 2020. It was really fun and just what I needed. It’s out now in paperback. 

Mary and I talked about why we love epistolary novels, took a bit of a an accidental deep dive into books about Hollywood, chatted about the difference between British humour and American humour, and lots more!

You can listen to the episode here,

or Spotify, or iTunes,

or wherever else you get your podcasts.


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Books Mentioned on the Podcast:

The Roxy Letters, by Mary Pauline Lowry

Bridget Jones’s Diary, by Helen Fielding

Where D’you Go, Bernadette, by Maria Semple

Dear Committee Members, by Julie Schumacher

A Confederacy of Dunces, by John Kennedy O’Toole

The Color Purple, by Alice Walker

Emma, by Jane Austen

Pride and Prejudice, by Jane Austen

Northanger Abbey, by Jane Austen

Mansfield Park, by Jane Austen

Persuasion, by Jane Austen

The Jane Austen Book Club, by Karen Joy Fowler

Eligible, by Curtis Sittenfeld

Men Are From Mars, Woman Are From Venus, by John Gray

Unscripted, by Claire Handscombe

Girl, Unstrung, by Claire Handscombe

Damnation Spring, by Ash Davidson

Grown Ups, by Emma Jane Unsworth

Breast and Eggs, by Mieko Kawakami, transl. Sam Bett and David Boyd 

He Will Be Mine, by Kristy Greenwood

The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo, by Taylor Jenkins Reid

Daisy Jones and the Six, by Taylor Jenkins Reid

The Idea of You, by Robinne Lee

Mona at Sea, by Elizabeth Gonzalez James

Rosaline Palmer Take the Cake, by Alexis Hall

Boyfriend Material, by Alexis Hall

Perfect Timing, by Owen Nicholls

Girl on the Train, by Paula Hawkins

A Slow Fire Burning (signed edition!), by Paula Hawkins

They: What Muslims and Non-Muslims Get Wrong About Each Other, by Sarfraz Manzoo


In the US and now the UK, buy your hardbacks and paperbacks from to support the podcast, as well as independent bookshops!

In other countries, you can support the podcast by using this link to buy from, which ships internationally at inexpensive rates.

Get your first two audiobooks for just $14.99 with the code BRITLIT on

Buy Claire’s novel, Unscripted.

Pre-order Claire’s YA novel, Girl, Unstrung.

Sign up for Claire’s mailing list.

Questions? Comments? Need a book recommendation? Email Claire at


The Brit Lit Podcast

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Mary Pauline Lowry

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