Shortlist year: 2009
Shortlist category: Fiction
Published by: One Foot Wrong
A child is imprisoned in a house by her reclusive religious parents. Hester has never seen the outside world; her companions are Cat, Spoon, Door, Handle, Broom, and they all speak to her. Her imagination is informed by one book, an illustrated child's bible, and its imagery forms the sole basis for her capacity to make poetic connection.
One day Hester takes a brave Alice in Wonderland trip into the forbidden outside (at the behest of Handle - 'turn me turn me'), and this overwhelming encounter with light and sky and sunshine is a marvel to her. From this moment on, Hester learns the concept of the secret, and not telling, and the world becomes something that fills her with feeling as if she is a vessel, empty and bottomless for need of it.
About the author
Sofie Laguna’s second novel for adults, The Eye of the Sheep—shortlisted for the Stella Prize—won the 2015 Miles Franklin Literary Award. Her first novel for adults, One Foot Wrong, 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 young sons.