Sandi lives and writes on the unceded sovereign lands of the Boonwurrung people, an area of Naarm (Melbourne) that forms part of the greater Kulin Nations. Sandi acknowledges the continuing connection of traditional owners to land, sea, culture and lore, and pays respects to elders past, present and emerging. Always was, always will be.
Sandi is a self-confessed op-shop addict (she is REALLY good at spotting a bargain) and loves to read. She is a Diversity and Inclusion Consultant, a passionate gender equality advocate and writer. She lives in Bayside, Melbourne, with her husband, three children and an energetic Kelpie x named Pesca.
Her professional career spans the fields of medical anthropology, women’s health, and diversity and inclusion. She has worked extensively in government and community organisations, as well as in academia across three Melbourne universities. Her writing has appeared in various blogs, academic reports and The Age. She currently teaches postgraduate studies at Deakin University.
After many years of formal writing, in 2017, Sandi fulfilled her long-held dream to write creatively and enrolled in a year-long university course.
Chasing the McCubbin is her debut novel.
Sandi is currently writing her second novel, Fly, White Dove, Fly, a sweeping parallel story that speaks of power, trauma, separation and survival, and of the deepest mysteries of love, family and connection.
Chasing the McCubbin
March 1, 2021 (Transit Lounge Publishing)
Set against the backdrop of Melbourne during the recession of the early 1990s, Chasing the McCubbin is funny and sad in equal measure. The story of Joseph, a troubled unemployed teenager, and Ron, an eccentric antique and junk collector, will be the most heartbreaking yet feel-good novel you will read this year.
'Evocative of time and place'
Fiona Lowe, author of A Home Like Ours
'Truly fine writing. Sympathetic and heartfelt'
Graeme Simsion, author of The Rosie Project
Scaunich brings an unstinting, almost forensic eye to her observation of character, while at the same time, managing what is difficult to achieve without straying into sentimentality – warmth.
Angela O’Keeffe, author of Night Blue
'Authentic, subtle, evocative, alive'
Kate Ryan, author of The Golden Book
In Chasing the McCubbin, Sandi Scaunich details the nuances of a hard knock life with a gentle touch and extraordinary insight. Her beautifully drawn characters and settings come together in a nostalgic and heart-warming story of hope, loneliness and an unexpected friendship.
Julietta Henderson, author of The Funny Thing About Norman Foreman
Media & Reviews
'This is a cosy, literary read for anyone who enjoys a deep exploration of unfamiliar subcultures.'
The AU Review
'Scaunich illuminates a quirky subculture and creates an intergenerational male friendship of some poignancy.'
The Age & Sydney Morning Herald
'This is an uplifting story of hope and goodness triumphing.'
The Weekly Times
'This is an entertaining, moving story about characters whose lives develop in believable and sometimes surprising ways.'
Art Gallery Society of New South Wales June-July 2021
'This is an awesome story set in recent history that esteems a sub-culture and allows us to see into the lives of the 'hard-luck' poor with empathy.'
As a debut novel, Chasing the McCubbin is an absolutely beautiful read, but one that needs to be read at absolutely the right time, to be able to totally absorb the true beauty of the work that unfolds. Authentic, unusual and interestingly, redolent of the times which we live.'
Blue Wolf Reviews
'This warmly told and poignant novel will hold readers from the first page.'
The Weekly Times
'Chasing the McCubbin is about searching for the thing of high value among the lesser things. Perhaps it's found in friendship and the sense of belonging. It's worth following the emotional, inspiring chase with Ron and Joseph.'
'The first thing I noticed about this thoughtful debut was the authenticity of the characters in Chasing the McCubbin.'
ANZ LitLovers Blog
Sandi loves book clubs and will happily attend* in person (certain Melbourne areas only) or via online platforms such as Zoom. She will chat about her inspirations, the themes and characters in Chasing the McCubbin, as well as her writing process and all-things-books, really.
*Just one little caveat: so everyone's 'on the same page', to borrow the cliché, Sandi asks that at least five book club members obtain a copy of Chasing the McCubbin before the scheduled meeting.
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