Thank you very much to the Subcontinent Voice – and in particular Dr Chandrika Subramaniyan – for running this piece.
Some great questions from Adilah Ismail at the Sunday Times. I loved thinking about these ones.
Loved doing this podcast with the folks at Dymocks.
Lovely review by Sammi at One Bookish Girl. Thank you so much!
My first review in an Australian newspaper! #extremelyrelieved
Here is my recent interview for Culture Street and their Women Who Dare profile. I loved thinking about the questions and then getting lost in the site, reading about other women. In particular, it was inspiring to read about women authors (and added more books to my To Read List).
My first review of The Barrier is in and it’s a pretty good one (phew). Thank you so much Pile by the Bed.
I’m not posting it here because it has spoilers.
But here is a sample:
“But this is not just a science fiction action thriller. At times it feels more like a thought experiment as Chandran uses her sandbox to investigate deeper philosophical issues around religion and faith and the role these play in human society and development….
There are plenty of post-apocalyptic dystopias around at the moment which, while futuristic are trying to come to terms with very real and very current issues. The Barrier provides a way to explore the world of totalitarianism, religious extremism and sectarian conflict in a relatively safe speculative space. But very little is safe in Chandran’s world, and she manages to say some interesting things in the context of what is often a visceral and fast paced thriller.”
Here is The Barrier in the North Shore Times.
My 8 year old son read it and said: No offence Mummy, but Benji (the puppy) looks better than you.” True, he was far more relaxed for the photo shoot.
I speak Tamil badly. There’s no two ways about it. Tamil speakers would probably prefer it if I didn’t attempt the language of Kambar, Thiruvalluvar and Ilaiyaraaja (come on, over 6000 Tamil cinema songs).
It is one of my greatest regrets in life. I understand Tamil quite well. Sometimes I feel things in Tamil, like the love I have for my grandmother, Ammamma.
But I can’t speak it. I was interviewed recently by the lovely K. Sanchayan for SBS Tamil Radio. He kindly interviewed me in English and then dubbed over me in Tamil.
Someone recently said to me that: Australian stories are stories told by Australians. It’s a simple but important statement in an environment where the politics of race, immigration and hate converge too easily.
I’m grateful to SBS for telling the stories of all Australians, in our many languages. Here is the interview, in English and in Tamil.
English Part 1: http://bit.ly/2r4FQHE
English Part 2: http://bit.ly/2r4PHwQ
I was recently invited to speak on a panel at the South Asian Festival of Arts and Literature in Sydney. The topic was South Asian Writing in Australia. It was wonderful to be featured with talented, committed writers, playwrights and academics like Roanna Gonslaves (author of Permanent Resident), Adib Khan, Sharon Rundle and Champa Buddhipala.
There was talk about cultural appropriation. The documentary maker, Ana Tiwary, noted that Australia is multicultural and its stories are multicultural. The audience and readers want those stories. They are fascinated by those stories.
But between the artists and the audience, there are the funders/producers/publishers. They are monocultural. These stories don’t resonate with them, and they don’t think these stories will be of interest or will sell. These people in the middle create a barrier (largely because of what they will or will not fund). This is a systemic problem and challenge for the kind of art that makes it into the public space.
The festival gave me a lot to think about.
It also reminded me that people do incredible, creative things. It takes courage and support. I felt really welcomed and supported by this artistic community.
Here’s a photo from that day. Thank you to Simran Dalia at Vinz Photography.