Author(s): Sofie Laguna
I never had words to ask anybody the questions, so I never had the answers.
Abandoned by her mother as a toddler and only occasionally visited by her volatile father who keeps dangerous secrets, Justine is raised solely by her Pop, an old man tormented by visions of the Burma Railway. Justine finds sanctuary in Pop's chooks and The Choke, where the banks of the Murray River are so narrow they can almost touch - a place of staggering natural beauty that is both a source of peace and danger. Although Justine doesn't know it, her father is a menacing criminal and the world she is exposed to is one of great peril to her. She has to make sense of it on her own - and when she eventually does, she knows what she has to do.
A brilliant, haunting novel about a child navigating an often dark and uncaring world of male power, guns and violence, in which grown-ups can't be trusted and comfort can only be found in nature, The Choke is a compassionate and claustrophobic vision of a child in danger and a society in deep trouble. Sofie Laguna, winner of the 2015 Miles Franklin Award for The Eye of the Sheep, once again shows she is a writer of rare empathy, originality and blazing talent.
Longlisted for The 2018 Stella Prize
Short-listed for Victorian Premier's Literary Awards - Fiction 2018 (Australia)
Indie Book Awards - Winner Fiction 2018 (Australia)
Shortlisted for the ABIA Literary Fiction Book of the Year 2018
Sofie Laguna's second novel for adults, The Eye of the Sheep-shortlisted for the Stella Prize-won the 2015 Miles Franklin Literary Award. It has been optioned for both film and theatre. Her first novel for adults, One Foot Wrong, published throughout Europe, the US and the UK, was longlisted for the Miles Franklin Literary Award and shortlisted for the Prime Minister's Literary Award. Screen rights have been optioned and she has completed the screenplay. Sofie's many books for young people have been published in the US, the UK and in translation throughout Europe and Asia. She has been shortlisted for the Queensland Premier's Award, and her books have been named Honour Books and Notable Books by the Children's Book Council of Australia. Sofie lives in Melbourne with her husband, illustrator Marc McBride, and their two young sons.