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Sofie Laguna

The Choke is a brilliant novel about a child navigating an often dark and uncaring world of guns, cars and violence, in which grown-ups can't be trusted and only animals and nature won't let you down.

Abandoned by her mother as a toddler and only occasionally visited by her volatile father, 13-year old Justine is raised solely by her Pop, an elderly man tormented by visions of his time as a POW in Changi. Justine finds sanctuary in Pop's chooks and The Choke, a beautiful part of the country near her house where the Murray River almost turns in on itself. School is a torment to her, as she can't figure out what the letters mean, and her two half-brothers who live in town tease her mercilessly. Although she doesn't realise it, Justine's father is a dangerous criminal and the world she is exposed to is also 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.

Once again Sofie Laguna has created a haunting and claustrophobic vision of a child in danger and a society in deep trouble.

SOFIE LAGUNA originally studied to be a lawyer, but after deciding law was not for her, she trained as an actor. Sofie is now an author, actor and playwright. Her books for young people have been named Honour Books and Notable Books in the Children's Book Council of Australia Book of the Year Awards and have been shortlisted in the Queensland Premier's Awards. She has been published in the US and the UK and in translation in Europe and Asia. Sofie's first novel for adults, One Foot Wrong, was published throughout Europe, the United States and the United Kingdom. Sofie has written the screenplay for the film of One Foot Wrong.

Available Rights

Language Territory Type Agency Client
German World Book Nicole Meillaud
Mohrbooks AG
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3. August 2017, review
Books + Publishing magazine has called the book ‘emotionally intense, deeply engaging and quietly haunting’, awarding it 5 stars (making THE CHOKE their top-rated book for the quarter).

Books + Publishing, starred review

17. October 2017, review
It is quite a feat to write characters with such nuance . . . Laguna is an author proving the novel is a crucial document of the times.

Louise Swinn, The Australian

4. November 2017, review
. shows all the mastery of language that garnered her a Miles Franklin Award two years ago for The Eye of the Sheep. full of richly drawn characters, with a dialogue that crackles and a narrative that draws you right in. Beauty and ugliness sit squatly si

The Big Issue

4. November 2017, review
There is great emotional depth to Sofie Laguna's writing, and her characters are alive in their vulnerability and beauty. Sofie Laguna is one of the most gifted writers in Australia right now. Don't miss this.

Good Reading

4. November 2017, review
Justine is vivid and unique. Laguna's brilliance is in the immersive empathy the reader feels for Justine.

The Sunday Paper

4. November 2017, review
Laguna builds suspense deftly and without mercy. From the moment The Choke begins, a slingshot's elastic is precisely, steadfastly being pulled back... and the stone Laguna lets fly ricochets inside you for days afterwards.

The Sydney Morning Herald

4. November 2017, review
Don't for a moment imagine that, after taking out the Miles Franklin Award in 2015 for her novel The Eye of the Sheep, the best of Sofie Laguna's work is behind her. The Choke [is] every bit as masterful and devastating as The Eye of the Sheep, as well as

The Herald Sun, Weekend

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