29 June 2015 The Ultimate All-Rounder

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29 June 2015 The Ultimate All-Rounder

Karen Viggers appears to have cracked the code to having it all – best-selling author, vet, auther, wife, cook, family taxi driver and academic – and she will be at the Harry Bailey Memorial Library on July 9 to reveal how she does it and how her love of Australia and her own adventures have shaped her writing.

Canberra-based Karen had her beginnings in the Yarra Valley and worked as a vet in Healesville and Yarra Junction. Since then she has studied penguins and seals in the Antarctic, hiked in Patagonia, cycled in Iceland and snorkelled with manta rays in Micronesia. The rest of the time she works as a regular vet caring for dogs and cats, as well as the Governor General’s kangaroos.

Her surroundings have always been an important part of her life and her novels - which also include ‘The Stranding’ and ‘The Lightkeeper’s Wife’ - reflect this key aspect of her character.

‘The Grass Castle’, her latest novel, is the story of two women - Abby, a young ecologist studying wildlife, with a troubled past and sense of loneliness and Daphne, an elderly woman still coming to terms with being forced from her home in the Brindabellas in the 1970s when the government reclaimed land for the national park.

“At first, I found it very difficult to settle in Canberra, but not far away were the beautiful Brindabella Ranges and that is where I soon gravitated,” says Karen.

“I couldn’t help wondering about the lives of the people who had lived there in earlier times, when town was a more than a day’s ride away, and the weather was cold and harsh, and facilities were rudimentary – no gas, no electricity, no rapid transport. From this came the seeds that would develop into Daphne’s story in ‘The Grass Castle’.”

Karen will be at the Harry Bailey Memorial Library on Thursday July 9, speaking from 6pm.

There will be light refreshments served from 5:30pm and signed copies of ‘The Grass Castle’ will be available for purchase thanks to The Book Warehouse.

Entry is FREE, but people can secure a place by visiting the Library website at libraries.coffsharbour.nsw.gov.au or by calling 6648 4900.