Author(s): Sonya Hartnett
A stunningly original voice in young adult fiction
Harper Flute believes that her younger brother Tin, with his uncanny ability to dig, was born to burrow. While their family struggles to survive in a desolate landscape during the Great Depression, the silent and elusive little Tin - "born on a Thursday and so fated to his wanderings" - begins to escape underground, tunneling beneath their tiny shanty. As time passes and fate deals the family an especially cruel hand, Harper’s parents withdraw emotionally, and her siblings bravely try to fill the void, while Tin becomes a wild thing, leaving them further and further behind.
With exquisite prose, richly drawn characters, and a touch of magical realism, Sonya Hartnett tells a breathtakingly original coming-of-age story through the clear eyes of an observant child. It’s a loving and unsentimental portrait of family loyalty in the face of poverty and eartbreak, entwined with a surreal vision of the enigmatic Tin - disappearing into a mysterious labyrinth that reaches unimaginably far, yet remains hauntingly near.
Sonya Hartnett's work has won numerous Australian and international literary prizes and has been published around the world. Uniquely, she is acclaimed for her stories for adults, young adults and children. Her accolades include the Commonwealth Writers' Prize (Of A Boy), The Age Book of the Year (Of A Boy), the Guardian Children's Fiction Prize (Thursday's Child), the Children's Book Council of Australia Book of the Year for both Older and Younger Readers (Forest, The Silver Donkey, The Ghost's Child, The Midnight Zoo and The Children of the King), the Victorian Premier's Literary Award (Surrender), shortlistings for the Miles Franklin Award (for both Of a Boy and Butterfly) and the CILP Carnegie Medal (The Midnight Zoo). Hartnett is also the first Australian recipient of the Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award (2008). In 2014, Hartnett will publish both a new novel for adults, Golden Boys, and her third picture book, The Wild One. Visit sonyahartnett.com.au for more