Sodden Downstream by Brannavan Gnanalingam


Thousands flee central Wellington as a far too common ‘once in a century’ storm descends. Roads are closed and all rail is halted. For their own safety, city workers are told that they must go home early.

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Sita is a Tamil Sri Lankan refugee living in the Hutt Valley. She’s just had a call from her boss. If she doesn’t get to her cleaning job in the city she’ll lose her contract. The novel charts the help and hindrances that make for a long, damp evening. But the book also highlights the kinds of care and solidarity that come out in times of need.

Brannavan Gnanalingam’s new novel combines his experiences as a Tamil-background kiwi growing up in the Hutt Valley with re ections on how refugees adapt to a new home.
“It’s a love letter to Lower Hutt, it’s an account of people who have been forgotten in New Zealand, and it’s about a refugee persisting,” says Gnanalingam.
BRANNAVAN GNANALINGAM is a critically-acclaimed novelist from the Hutt Valley, New Zealand. His previous novel, A Briefcase, Two Pies and a Penthouse, was long-listed for the Acorn Foundation Fiction Prize at 2017 Ockham Book Awards

Kindness of Strangers: A review of Sodden Downstream

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