Meet our August Author: Brannavan Gnanalingam
When: Wednesday 31 August, 7.00 – 8.00pm (TBC)
Where: Online – click the Zoom link below.
Join us to meet the awesome Brannavan Gnanalingam at an online shared reading event at the end of the month! Brannavan will read from his work and we will all have an opportunity to reflect and respond together as we go along.
Brannavan Gnanalingam is a writer and lawyer based in Wellington. He has written seven novels, including the Ockham New Zealand Book Awards shortlisted Sprigs (2020) and Sodden Downstream (2017), and the longlisted A Briefcase, Two Pies and a Penthouse (2016). His latest, Slow Down You’re Here, was released in April 2022.
Slow Down You’re Here
Kavita is stuck in a dead-end marriage. A parent of two small kids, she is the family’s main breadwinner. An old flame unexpectedly offers her a week away in Waiheke. If she were to go, she’s not sure when – or if – she’d come back.
“This month we read the first few chapters of a domestic horror novel with no villains!
In Slow Down, You’re Here we explore how the economic stress of the last couple of years impacts relationships. As Blondie says “dreaming is free” and we feel the character’s desperation for short term fantasy & escape. This is wonderful stuff for shared reading as we have all been through our own pandemic journey and many of us struggled with mental and economic health during this time.”
Photo by Shahir Daud.
An amazing event tonight! I loved hearing about all the references like Alfred Hitchcock’s Psycho and Steven King’s Misery. Apparently Bran is going to be the Balzac of the Hutt so we are looking forward to at least 70 more novels! Yay! It was also cool to hear how he has challenged himself to be a better writer by writing fantastic convincing female perspectives. As one group participant said “The female characters are so touching! It’s hard to believe a man wrote them!” My dad spoke about the inner strength the female characters have compared to the men. We spoke about the non-stereotypical passive male characters like Vishal and Bran said he wanted to show a Tamil man who is not a doctor or lawyer but is just drifting along and trapped by the daily grind. I really appreciate Bran’s ability to write from so many perspectives. He told us about the experience of being a 1.5 generation NZer and how it makes you a chameleon and hones your observations skills because you try to be invisible. He also floated around different social groups at school which meant he knew the jocks or the nerds or whoever. We ran out of time for shared reading because it was so interesting chatting! Thanks again!
Enjoyed listening to Bran read from his latest novel last night. Up until now, I have not read any of his books but now intend to start with Slow Down, You’re Here. So much praise from the attendees!
Loved hearing Brannavan read and speak about his horror novel Slow Down You’re Here. He’s an acute observer of life in NZ and you can’t fail to recognise the characters he creates. Naenae, Lower Hutt, Onehunga as well as Waiheke all deservedly appear in Sodden Down Under and Slow Down You’re Here as the somewhat unexpected settings of riveting reads. Brannavan captures too the slight distancing objectivity towards NZ life that we immigrants feel. Thanks Brannavan and Kate for such an enjoyable discussion😎🙏
I got hooked on the excerpts of Slow Down, You’re Here, got the book from the library and read the rest of it in a day. I’ve not read anything like this before – modern, urban fiction set in Aotearoa New Zealand, especially from the perspective of immigrants. I also enjoyed listening in to the end-of-month event with the author, Brannavan. Ka pai (well done), Kate!