The Choke

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Pub Date: 03/28/2019

Pages: 384

Trim: 129 x 198

Publisher: Gallic Books

Imprint: Aardvark Bureau

ISBN 13: 9781910709573

ISBN 10: 1910709573

Price: $25.00 / $32.99 CAN

Category: FICTION / Coming of Age

The Choke

By Sofie Laguna

Price: $25.00

About the Book

Winner of the 2018 Australian Indie Fiction Award

‘Lyrical and brutal’ The Irish Times

Justine Lee was born breech, entering the world on her knees. She reads words the wrong way round. But she sees things more clearly than the adults around her think.

Raised by her Pop since her parents left, Justine makes dens down by the narrow stretch of the Murray River they call the Choke, dodging the violent games of her half-brothers. Pop means well but has his demons, and Justine is left to eat little but eggs from the chooks, arriving at school with egg-stained clothes.

When Justine hears her dad’s coming home at Christmas, she feels a mixture of excitement and dread. He's a dangerous man, and his presence will close in on Justine’s young life, like the riverbanks at the Choke. She must find a way to flow onwards, breaking the cycle of violence and poverty through friendship, resilience and her own strength.

About the Book

A quick, cruel, coming-of-age tale in the vein of recent remarkable literature on dangerous girlhoods and disjointed families.


Sofie Laguna’s second novel for adults, The Eye of the Sheep—shortlisted for the Stella Prize—won the 2015 Miles Franklin Literary Award and was longlisted for the International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award. 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. 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 sons.


The Stella Prize
Voss Literary Prize
Miles Franklin Literary Award
International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award
Indie Book Award for Fiction