Australian Tamil author whose first novel wasn't 'Australian enough' wins Miles Franklin
- Shankari Chandran's Chai Time at Cinnamon Gardens, has won the prestigious $60,000 Miles Franklin award.
- The novel, Chandran's third, explores multicultural Australia and the Sri Lankan civil war.
- Chandran hopes to adapt Chai Time at Cinnamon Gardens into a television series.
Chandran's third novel, Chai Time at Cinnamon Gardens, has won the prestigious $60,000 literary prize at a ceremony in Sydney.
Veering between shock, disbelief and 'tearful excitement'
Her second book only generated average sales and a third manuscript, for a political thriller, was initially rejected.
The United Nations estimates around 100,000 people were killed during Sri Lanka's 15-year civil war. Source: Getty / John Moore
If literary awards are any measure, Chandran's multi-generational tale is very good indeed.
A multicultural oasis in a nursing home
"It's a really important avenue for us because telling the truth in Sri Lanka is not allowed, it is not safe to tell the truth about what happened, regardless of which side you're on," she said.
"I saw it very much as a television series in my mind and I would go to bed at night and say, 'I wonder what's going to happen tomorrow'."