Steven Amsterdam grew up on New York's Upper West Side. He has worked as a travel publisher and designer for Random House and, since his move to Australia, has worked in both psychiatric and palliative care nursing.
In May 2009, Amsterdam was granted permanent residency in Australia.
'Evan is a nurse - a suicide assistant. His job is legal - just. He's the one at the hospital who hands out the last drink to those who ask for it.
'Evan's friends don't know what he does during the day. His mother, Viv, doesn't know what he's up to at night. And his supervisor suspects there may be trouble ahead.
'As he helps one patient after another die, Evan pushes against the limits of the law - and his own morality. And with Viv increasingly unwell, his love life complicated, to say the least, Evan begins to wonder who might be there for him, when the time comes.' (Publication summary)
'“Okay, tell me which you want: To be able to fly or to be invisible.”
'And so begins the tale of a family finding itself, told by each of its members as they discover powers they never thought possible, from the author of the acclaimed Things We Didn’t See Coming.' (Publication summary)
Nine connected stories, ' Things We Didn't See Coming follows a man over three decades as he tries to survive - and to retain his humanity - in a world savaged by successive cataclysmic events.
Opening on the eve of the millennium, when the world as we know it is still recognisable, we meet the then nine-year-old narrator fleeing the city with his parents, just ahead of a Y2K breakdown of the grid which signals the world's transformation and decline. In the wake of this develop strange, sometimes horrific, sometimes unexpectedly funny circumstances as he goes about the no longer simple act of survival: trying to protect squatters against floods in a place where the rains never stop; harassed (and possibly infected) by a man wracked with plague; functioning as a salaried embezzler of 'the state'; escorting the gravely ill on adventure trips.
Yet despite the violence and brutality of these days, we learn that even as the world is spinning out of control essential human impulses still hold sway - that we never entirely escape our parents, envy the success of those around us and, chiefly, that we crave love' (Harvill Secker website).