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Steven Amsterdam


Since his 2009 debut, Things We Didn’t See Coming, Steven 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 Needed, also 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 Out, draws heavily from this line of work, tackling the big subjects: death, personal morality and assisted suicide.

Join this singular writer in conversation with his former publisher, Louise Swinn, for a discussion about double lives, family dynamics and matters of life and death.


Steven Amsterdam

Steven Amsterdam is the award-winning author of Things We Didn’t See Coming (winner of the Age Book of the Year, shortlisted for the NSW Premier’s Award for Fiction and longlisted for the Guardian First Book Award) and What the Family Needed (Australian Women’s Weekly Great Read an... Read more

Louise Swinn

Louise Swinn is a journalist, editor, critic and writer, co-founder of Sleepers independent publishers, the Small Press Network, and the Stella Prize. Louise edited Choice Words (Allen & Unwin, 2019), a collection of pieces demystifying abortion, and currently works as a journalist with the Aust... Read more



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