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Books and Ideas at Montalto

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Steven Amsterdam

Listen to Steven Amsterdam

Since his 2009 debut, Things We Didn’t See ComingSteven Amsterdam has established himself as a writer who startles and surprises.

His first book – an apocalyptic work fusing literary and climate-change fiction – earned him comparisons to Cormac McCarthy. His follow-up book, What the Family Neededalso frustrated conventions of form and genre, but diverged dramatically from its precursor on subject matter: from ecological disaster to family dynamics. Amsterdam is an author with an unusual combination of qualities. His writing is warm, playful … and ominous.

Perhaps this is partly because Amsterdam moves between parallel lives. Aside from writing, he works in an entirely different field – as a palliative care nurse. His new novel, The Easy Way Outdraws heavily from this line of work, tackling the big subjects: death, personal morality and assisted suicide.

This singular writer joins his former publisher, Louise Swinn, for a discussion about double lives, family dynamics and matters of life and death.

Books and Ideas at Montalto series sound design and music: Jon Tjhia.

Books and Ideas at Montalto

A series of thoughtful conversations about Australian literature – away from the city, at Montalto on the Mornington Peninsula.