Review – Sydney Morning Herald – Pick of the Week

My first review in an Australian newspaper! #extremelyrelieved

Interview – Culture Street

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).

Review – my first one for The Barrier! Pile by the Bed

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.”


Dystopia comes to the North Shore (Times)

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.

Interview – SBS Tamil Radio

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:

English Part 2:


Panel – South Asian Festival of Arts and Literature

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.



Review – The Economist 1843

I was recently reviewed in The Economist’s 1843 magazine, about ideas and culture. It’s a small segment, but every word was reassuring.

Here is the link to my facebook post about it:

Here is the text (yes, I copy typed it, it’s short):

Out of the Shadows

In the eight years since Sri Lanka’s civil war, plenty of books have tried to tackle the conflict, but Shankari Chandran’s debut, Song of the Sun God, is being hailed as exceptional. Chandran is from the Tamil ethnic minority, and her tale of the discrimination and violence that affects three generations of a Tamil family is so sensitively written that even Sinhalese readers are praising its depiction of the war that also shaped their own families. Barely two months after its release, a second print run has been ordered and an Indian edition is coming soon.

Review – Vihanga Perera

Here is a really interesting review by writer and commentator Vihanga Perera. He makes some insightful criticisms which I take on board. He also makes some really beautiful comments. Thank you for the review Vihanga.

Review – A Truth More Violent than Fiction – by Sanjana Hattotuwa

I was recently reviewed by Sanjana Hattotuwa in Sri Lanka. It’s a beautiful review. I’m so grateful for the support Song of the Sun God has been receiving in Sri Lanka.

He reviews my book withThe Story of a Brief Marriage, by Anuk Arudpragasam. It’s an honour to be featured alongside him.

A truth more violent than fiction

Review – The Good Book Corner

Now that I’ve finally learned how to add stuff to my website, here is the first review I ever received. Thank you so much Artika Bakshi for your support.

Here it is: (link)