21 February 2012

Today's Imprint Read: The Paperbark Shoe by Goldie Goldbloom

What would it be like to be a prisoner in your own skin, your own house, and your own marriage? Gin Boyle, an albino, marries Mr. Toad to escape being sent to an asylum only to find that small-town life in the Australian outback can be just as confining.

When I finally fall asleep, my dreams are full of whales leaping out of a frothy khaki sea, their huge baleen grins aimed at me, their masculine elements raucous and ready, while I cower on a ledge that shudders in the wind of their passing. They leap and miss, leap and miss, and the platform bucks beneath my feet. Bizarre to dream of whales in the middle of a drought.

I wake up to the sound of hammering, and it's the whales I think I hear, battering the weatherboard wall next to my bed, and I scream, and scream again when my soul jolts back into my body with a feeling akin to being rolled in a thorn bush, and this time I think—oh my God! It's the Italians. They are coming for me. (p. 29)
The Paperbark Shoe, by Goldie Goldbloom (Picador 2011)

Quick Facts
  • Setting: Australian outback on the edge of the desert; memories of Sydney
  • Circumstances: Italian prisoners of war from World War II have been sent to Australia; some are placed on isolated family farms
  • Characters: Gin, an albino and classically trained pianist; her husband and children; two Italian prisoners; Australia itself
  • Themes: isolation, being imprisoned, self-discovery, love, marriage, war, family
  • Genre: fiction
  • Awards: 2008 Association of Writers and Writing Programs (AWP) Novel Award and 2011 Great Lakes College Association’s New Writer’s Award
Want to Know More? Watch the embedded book trailer (below) from the Australian edition of The Paperbark Shoe. Visit the Picador website to find the book summary, an excerpt, a reading guide, and more. To learn more about author Goldie Goldbloom visit her website and don't miss these interviews: from Reader and from Book Browse. For more on Picador and for news about events and great books, visit their website, like them on Facebook and follow them on Twitter.

19 comments:

Shelley Munro 2/21/12, 1:49 AM  

Hmm, the teaser is interesting, but I'm not sure it's a book I would pick up.

Here's My Teaser

Beth 2/21/12, 3:54 AM  

Interesting teaser! My teaser comes from the book Chasing Mona Lisa.

Harvee 2/21/12, 6:29 AM  

I like the writing, and the story sounds excellent too.

Anonymous,  2/21/12, 6:34 AM  

Not really my kind of read...but good luck with it all the same...:)

Irish 2/21/12, 7:44 AM  

I like the teaser. I also like that you listed Australia as a character...its a setting that always seems to loom so large in the books I've read that take place there.

bermudaonion 2/21/12, 8:41 AM  

Very interesting - I'm wondering why she's dreaming of whales.

Maria 2/21/12, 8:53 AM  

This sounds interesting, I have a few friends in Australia and this makes me curious about their parents impressions during/after the war (their parents would have been kids)

Here's my TT Post: http://tinyurl.com/7m3eg3r

Barbara 2/21/12, 9:02 AM  

I'm anxious to see a full review of this one. It sounds strange and unlike any book I've read. I'm curious.

Beth Hoffman 2/21/12, 9:07 AM  

This sounds like a sad and strange story. And if the excerpt is any indication, it looks like it's well written too. I think this one is going on my list!

Daryl Edelstein 2/21/12, 9:11 AM  

Made me think of The Piano .. I am sure its nothing like it but ..

Creations by Laurel-Rain Snow 2/21/12, 9:35 AM  

I can totally relate to trying to escape one thing, only to find yourself a prisoner of something else. Thanks for sharing.

Here's MY TUESDAY POST

Peggy Ann 2/21/12, 11:57 AM  

Beautiful words, Sounds very interesting. Thanks for sharing this one Beth!

Zibilee 2/21/12, 12:40 PM  

I got this book last year at SIBA and haven't had the chance to read it yet. The story sounds fascinating though, and it's one that I need to dig out and get to soon. Your teaser lit a fire under me!

Sandy Nachlinger 2/21/12, 1:53 PM  

Since I had a weird dream last night myself, I can definitely relate to this teaser! The book sounds fascinating, and the writing you posted is lovely.
Here's my teaser: Sandy's Teaser
By the way, I love the photo in your header. It reminds me of Bruge, Belgium.

Alice Audrey 2/21/12, 2:06 PM  

What a wild dream. I don't think it would make me wake ups screaming, but I can see how she might.

Julie P. 2/21/12, 2:58 PM  

I remember the fuss about this book at BEA.

Vicki 2/21/12, 4:27 PM  

Very interesting! It sure has me curious!
Here's Mine

thecubiclerebel 2/21/12, 7:02 PM  

Ok, now I want to read this book! Even though the word "asylum" always gave me the willies.

Carina Olsen 2/22/12, 3:16 AM  

Seems like an interesting book :D Great teasers :) Hope you enjoy it ;)
Thank you for commenting on my Teaser Tuesday. <3
Love, Carina @ Carina's Books

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