Author Sheela Chari visited the Center for Fiction in May 2013, to discuss her new YA novel, Vanished
Eleven-year-old Neela dreams of being a famous musician, performing for admiring crowds on her traditional Indian stringed instrument. Her particular instrument was a gift from her grandmother—intricately carved with a mysterious-looking dragon.
When this special family heirloom vanishes from a local church, strange clues surface: a tea kettle ornamented with a familiar pointy-faced dragon, a threatening note, a connection to a famous dead musician, and even a legendary curse. The clues point all the way to India, where it seems that Neela’s instrument has a long history of vanishing and reappearing. Even if Neela does track it down, will she be able to stop it from disappearing again?
Sheela Chari has degrees from Stanford University, Boston University, and New York University, where she received an MFA in creative writing. Her novel, Vanished, was named as a 2012 Children's Literature Honor Book by the Asian Pacific-American Library association, and was nominated for an Edgar award for best juvenile mystery. She lives in New York with her husband and two daughters. Vanished is her first novel.