Episode 2

Inherited trauma and Australian Jewish culture with Elise Esther Hearst

Elise Esther Hearst is a Melbourne-based playwright and author, working and living on Boon Wurrung country. She studied Creative Arts at Melbourne University and playwriting at the Royal Court Theatre in London. Upcoming productions include A Very Jewish Christmas Carol (Melbourne Theatre Company) and Yentl (Malthouse Theatre). One Day We’re All Going to Die, published by Harper Collins Australia, is Elise's debut novel. Elise is currently working on her second novel.

Our interview begins at  18.00

We've got a Substack publication now! On the last day of the month, we share recommendations for two things we reckon you should read/watch/listen to. The beauty of Substack is you can revisit all our old editions and comment on our episode updates to share your thoughts. Come say hi!

Caitlin recommends: The Boyfriend Candidate by Ashley Winstead

Alexis, a school librarian, gets caught in a fake relationship with local political candidate Logan. A fun slow-burn romance with heart.

Caitlin read a copy of this from Harlequin.

Michelle recommends: Factory Girls by Michelle Gallen

A novel that's perfect for fans of Derry Girls. It's 1994 and Meave is waiting for her final exam results and praying it's enough to see her out of her small Northern Irish hometown.

In this interview, we chat about:

  • Being compared to Sally Rooney and Meg Mason as part of the 'sad girl lit' trend
  • Writing about living as the descendant of a Holocaust survivor and exploring Australian Jewish culture
  • The inspiration Elise took from her own grandmother in writing the character of Cookie
  • The Pandemic Skip and not having our shit together
  • Elise's journey from playwright to novelist and the differences between the two forms

Books and other things mentioned:

Follow @eliseestherhearst on Instagram

One Day We're All Going to Die is available now. Thank you to Harlequin for providing copies of the book in preparation for the interview.

Connect with us on Instagram: @betterwordspod

Please note that we choose podcast guests independently of Caitlin's job at HarperCollins Publishers. Although her job does help put us in touch with authors, we choose our guests based on what we've enjoyed reading and think you'd find interesting.

About the Podcast

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Better Words

About your hosts

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Caitlin Toohey

Hi, I'm Caitlin! I've been on bookstagram since 2016, a podcaster since 2017, and worked in publishing since 2019. So books and reading are my entire life. When I'm not reading, I like listening to Taylor Swift, watching sitcoms, and going to aerial classes.
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Michelle Gately

Hi, I'm Michelle! I'm an Aussie living in the UK, working as a bookseller at Waterstones. I'm obsessed with storytelling in all its forms – I spend as much time watching TV or listening to podcasts as I do reading. Other hobbies include bouldering, hiking and generally obsessing about my pug Percy.