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
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
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
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.