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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 won the 2021 Penguin Literary Prize for his novel Denizen, which was published by Penguin Random House in 2022. Denizen also received a 2021 Varuna Residential Fellowship and a 2021 KSP Residential Fellowship. James' short stories have been recognised in Australian and international competitions. His writing has appeared in The GuardianMeanjinKill Your Darlings and the Newtown Review of Books. He works as a nurse. Find him on Twitter and Instagram or visit his website.

Jul 6, 2021

James and Ashley interview GP and author Joanna Nell about her new novel 'The Great Escape from Woodland's Nursing Home.' In it, they discuss positive ageing, the challenges faced by Australia's aged care system, and the runaway success of the 'uplit' genre.

Learn more about Joanna on her website, and buy a copy of 'The Great Escape from Woodland's Nursing Home' from your local bookshopBooktopia or wherever else books are sold. 

Books and authors discussed in this episode

  • Providing Good Care at Night for Older People by Diana Kerr and Heather Wilkinson;
  • The Ripping Tree by Nikki Gemmell;
  • On Quiet by Nikki Gemmell;
  • Beautiful Kate by Newton Thornburg;
  • Far from the Tree by Andrew Solomon

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