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James and Ashley are staying at home. Partly because there’s a pandemic, partly because they’re writers, and partly because of their health. Through discussions and interviews, they explore the big questions: how do books get written? How do people live with chronic illness? And just what ARE you reading?

Ashley Kalagian Blunt is author of two books, How to Be Australian, a memoir, and My Name Is Revenge, a thriller novella and collected essays. My Name is Revenge was a finalist in the 2018 Carmel Bird Digital Literary Award, and was shortlisted for the 2019 Woollahra Digital Literary Awards. Her writing appears in Griffith Review, Sydney Review of Books, The Australian, The Big Issue, Westerly, Kill Your Darlings and more. She lives and works in Sydney, NSW. Find her on Twitter and Instagram or visit her website.

James McKenzie Watson won the 2021 Penguin Literary Prize for his novel Denizen, which also received a 2021 Varuna Residential Fellowship and 2021 KSP Fellowship, and was highly commended for the 2020 Writing NSW Varuna Fellowships. His short fiction has been recognised in competitions including the International InkTears Flash Fiction Contest and the Grieve Writing Competition, and featured in publications such as Baby Teeth Journal and Brave Voices Magazine. He works as a nurse in regional NSW. Find him on Twitter and Instagram or visit his website.

Ashley Kalagian Blunt and James McKenzie Watson

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