Meet the author - Shankari Chandran

Miles Franklin award-winning author Shankari Chandran will be in conversation with Karen Viggers on her new novel Safe Haven.

It was a beautiful evening. The wind gathered speed, lifting the frangipanis from the grove behind him, pink and yellow petals defying gravity. Beyond the trees, hidden by the foliage and rows of towering palm trees, the detention centre slept fitfully in the heavy summer heat. The palms blocked the ocean gust that now swirled around him, filling his lungs with the taste of temple flowers and salt. It reminded him of home. He took a deep breath, stepped off the escarpment and felt the red sand rush up towards him.

Arriving in Australia seeking asylum, Fina dedicates herself to aiding the refugees who are held in Port Camden, a remote island outpost. Over time she settles into a life within a community of like-minded people, finding a new family, far from her original home. After she speaks out for those being detained, Fina becomes the focus of a media storm that leads to her arrest, and the threat of deportation.

When a security officer dies under suspicious circumstances, Lucky, a special investigator, arrives to uncover the truth. The mystery is tied to Fina’s fate—and the secrets she reveals will divide the town and the nation. Safe Haven is about displacement and seeking refuge—but ultimately it is a story about finding home—and the lengths you’ll go to find safety and love.

Shankari Chandran was raised in Canberra. She spent a decade in London, working as a lawyer in the social justice field. She eventually returned home to Australia, where she now lives with her husband and four children. She is the author of Song of the Sun God, The Barrier and Chai Time at Cinnamon Gardens, which won the 2023 Miles Franklin Literary Award.

Karen Viggers is a Canberra writer, veterinarian, podcaster and literary critic. She is the author of five novels, which have been bestsellers in France as well as Australia: The Stranding, The Lightkeeper's Wife, The Grass Castle, The Orchardist's Daughter and Sidelines. She is co-host with Irma Gold of the Secrets From the Green Room podcast.

The vote of thanks will be given by Sally Pryor, Features Editor of the Canberra Times

This event is in association with Harry Hartog Bookshop. Books will be available for purchase on the evening in the Cultural Centre foyer. Pre-event book signings will be available from 5.30pm, and available again after the event.

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION:

  • Registration is required for this event.
  • To help keep everyone safe, please ensure that you are familiar with, and follow, the advice from ACT Health regarding COVID-19.
  • If you do not feel well, please refrain from attending this event.
  • Accessible parking spaces are available around campus should you require them. 
  • By registering for this event, you are accepting our privacy policy.
  • A podcast will be made available after the event.
  • Symposium by University House Wine bar (Shop 13, 152 University Avenue, Acton, which is just next to the Kambri cultural centre) will now be open for dining after meet the author events. Food and wine details at https://unihouse.anu.edu.au/eat/symposium/. No bookings necessary.
  • TEQSA Provider ID: PRV12002 (Australian University) | CRICOS Provider Code: 00120C

Date and Times

Location

Tangney Rd
Cinema, Cultural Centre Kambri (ANU Building 153)
ACT
Acton
2601

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