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Steven Amsterdam was born in New York and has worked as a map editor, producer's assistant, and a pastry chef. He has lived in Melbourne, Australia since 2003, where he works as a writer and palliative care nurse. His debut novel, Things We Didn't See Coming, won The Age Book of the Year in Australia and was longlisted for the Guardian First Book Award. His second book, What the Family Needed, has been called 'wonderful' by the Sydney Morning Herald and 'exhilarating' by The Australian and has been shortlisted for the Encore Prize.