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Through discussions and interviews with writers, artists and health professionals, author friends James McKenzie Watson and Ashley Kalagian Blunt explore the big questions: how do books get written? How do people navigate life with chronic illness? And just what are you reading?

Ashley Kalagian Blunt is the author of Dark Mode, an internationally published psychological thriller. Her earlier books are How to Be Australian, a memoir, and My Name Is Revenge, collected fiction and essays. Her writing appears in the Sydney Morning Herald, Overland, Griffith Review, Sydney Review of Books, and more. Ashley is an enthusiastic teacher of writing and creativity. Originally from Canada, she has lived and worked in South Korea, Peru and Mexico. Find her on Twitter and Instagram or visit her website.

James McKenzie Watson is the author of Denizen, which won the 2021 Penguin Literary Prize and was shortlisted in 2023 Ned Kelly Awards for Best Debut. His writing has appeared in The GuardianMeanjinKill Your Darlings and the Newtown Review of Books. He has appeared at events including the Sydney Writers Festival, Newcastle Writers Festival and BAD Crime Sydney. He works as a nurse. Find him on Twitter and Instagram or visit his website.

Feb 16, 2021

James and Ashley interview Nash, artist and author of 'What to Expect When You're Immigrating,' a hilarious and insightful commentary on the Australian immigration process. In it, they discuss using humour to cope with stressful situations, the challenges faced by new arrivals to Australia, and the commonalities between Sri Lanka and Melbourne (hint: its pigeons). 

Follow Nash on Instagram, and buy a copy of 'What to Expect When You're Immigrating' from your local bookshopBooktopia, or wherever else books are sold.

Books discussed in this episode:

  • Halibut on the Moon by David Vann
  • When Marnie Was There by Joan G Robinson 
  • Glenn Loury & John McWhorter (technically YouTubers, not authors) 

Nash will be in conversation with Mark Mariano for a live-streamed event via City of Marion Libraries at 2:30pm (ACST) on April 13 2021. Get more information or book a place here

Get in touch!

Ashley's Website:

Ashley's Twitter: @AKalagianBlunt

James' Website:

James' Twitter: @JamesMcWatson