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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 20, 2024

’I kept this condition very, very secret from everybody.’

Adele Dumont's remarkable new memoir, The Pulling, details her life with trichotillomania — a mental health condition that, at times, has consumed her life.

In this episode, she discusses the unique writing process that enabled her to put long-held secrets first on the page and then into the public sphere. She also describes the impact of revealing her illness through her memoir, especially to family and friends who knew nothing about her condition. We discuss the shame linked to trichotillomania and whether sharing her story has shifted this feeling.

Adele Dumont is an Australian writer and critic. Her work has appeared in Griffith Review, Meanjin, Southerly, ABR, and Sydney Review of Books. Adele’s first book, No Man Is an Island, is an account of her experiences teaching English to asylum seekers in detention. Adele lives in Sydney, where she works as an English language teacher and examiner. 

'Get your copy of The Pulling from Booktopia or your local bookshop.'

Books and authors discussed in this episode:

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