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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.

Jan 18, 2022

***Warning! Spoilers for Earthlings by Sayaka Murata in this episode***

After arguing about the intense and disturbing ending to Earthlings by Sayaka Murata in episode 45, James and Ashley rope past guest Jacinta Dietrich into returning to the podcast to try and figure out what might happened in the novel's closing pages. If you've read Earthlings, you know what we mean! If you haven't – well, Ashley says you can listen to this ep anyway, since this book doesn't hinge on a twist. James disagrees. 

Our guest is author Jacinta Dietrich, a writer and editor who holds a Master of Creative Writing from the University of Melbourne. Her first book, This Is Us Now, was published in 2021 by Grattan Street Press.

Books, articles and authors discussed in this episode:

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