Author Event with Shivani Sivagurunathan


Malaysian author Shivani Sivagurunathan will be at Lit Books to talk with Fong Min Hun about her latest book, What Has Happened To Harry Pillai?, and we’d love for you to join us! Audience Q&A and book-signing will follow. Tickets are RM10 and you will receive a RM10 voucher on event day to use towards any purchase. Do note that the voucher is valid to use on event day only.

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About the book:
What Has Happened To Harry Pillai? consists of two novellas set on the fictional island of Coal Island that Shivani first dreamt up in her first short story collection, Wildlife on Coal Island, (published by HarperCollins India) and which she set her debut full-length novel, Yalpanam (published by Penguin SEA).

Middle-aged Debbie’s life is a disaster – her mother abandoned the family when she was a young girl, her father committed suicide and if that isn’t enough, her only son has decided to follow in his grandfather’s footsteps and drown himself.

Turning to her best friend Geraldine and copious amounts of wine for emotional support is getting her nowhere…until one day Debbie’s mysterious ex-husband turns up on the island along with his spiritual guru. Will Debbie find salvation as part of the Master Your Life cult?

For decades Harry Pillai has kept his triplet daughters away from the island’s prying eyes. Modern life is rubbish and he wants no part of it; all electronic devices are banned in the Pillai household and the triplets are forbidden from mingling with the islanders.

Despite their father’s best efforts, the Pillai triplets each have their own secret worlds, kept secret even from each other. While Penny and Betty respectively find solace and sexual release with a local mechanic and the island’s lighthouse keeper, Sally seeks out the company of a tribal family hidden deep in the jungle. Life in the Pillai household is about to undergo a shocking transformation.

About the author:
Shivani Sivagurunathan has been writing and publishing fiction and poetry for 20 years. Her writing has always been grounded in a Malaysian context and supported by a metaphysical foundation – it combines the local and the concrete with the universal and the abstract, reminiscent of the South American magical realist writers like Gabriel Garcia Marquez and Mario Vargas Llosa.