Karen Viggers – Coming soon to Ivanhoe Library!

Ivanhoe Library is delighted to host the hugely talented Karen Viggers as she discusses her latest release, The Orchardist’s Daughter, on Monday 21 October at 6:30pm. BOOK HERE NOW!

Karen was born in Melbourne and grew up in the Dandenong Ranges, riding horses and writing stories. Karen's passion includes landscapes, wild places, people and animals; which is why she writes contemporary realist fiction set in Australian landscapes. Karen's books tackle contentious issues such as dying with dignity, displacement of Indigenous people, whale rescue, kangaroo culling, clear-felling of forests, and scientific research on animals. She is the author of four novels: The Stranding (2008), the bestselling The Lightkeeper's Wife (2011), The Grass Castle (2015), and her new release The Orchardist's Daughter (2019).

Karen Viggers on writing The Orchardist’s Daughter:

“This novel grew out of a lifelong sense of being an outsider—not necessarily of being lonely or wrong, but a little bit different. Maybe it’s a pre-requisite for being a writer, but I suspect we all feel like outsiders at times. And yet connection and being part of something are important—that’s how we define ourselves and fit into the world.

In writing this book, I asked myself: when is it that we are at our most vulnerable, and when is it hardest for us to belong? There are many difficult stages of life, however I feel that belonging is hardest for young people trying to find their feet in the world. So The Orchardist’s Daughter became a story of three outsiders struggling to belong in a close-knit Tasmanian timber town: a Parks ranger, a young woman being controlled by her older brother, and a ten-year-old boy being bullied at school. It’s a tale about invisible oppression, the things that are overlooked or ignored in small communities, and the ways in which we are strong. It’s about friendship. Discovering wisdom. Being courageous. Breaking free.

Place is also important in my novels. My narratives arise from my passion for wild landscapes and stories of the people who live in them. The Orchardist’s Daughter came from my love of southern Tasmania: the apple orchards, tall forests, savage mountains and pearly light. I wanted to explore the timber-cutting and conservation issues of the region, the complexities and characters of small interconnected communities, the journey towards self-determination, finding solace and renewal in nature.

This book is for anyone who, like me, has ever felt a little different or separate from everyone else, and who has struggled to find their place in life. It’s for anyone who loves nature, and feels humbled by forests or mountains. It’s for those who are fascinated by human nature, our need for connection, and how friendship and kindness have the power to transform us.”

Join us at Ivanhoe Library for this very special event. Registrations essential. Click here to book your place now.

By Amy, Acting Reading Coordinator Ivanhoe.

The Orchardist's Daughter

The Lightkeeper's Wife

The Grass Castle

The Stranding

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