Winner of the 2018 Australian Indie Award / Shortlisted for the 2018 Australian Literary Gold Medal
A quick, cruel, coming-of-age tale in the vein of recent remarkable literature on dangerous girlhoods and disjointed families.
Abandoned by her mother and only occasionally visited by her secretive father, Justine is raised by her grandfather Justine finds sanctuary in Pop’s chickens and the beauty of The Choke on the nearby Murray River. But there is no one to protect Justine from danger. Her father is a criminal, and the world he exposes her to is lethal.
A brilliant, haunting novel about a child navigating an often-uncaring world of male power and violence, in which grown-ups can’t be trusted and comfort can only be found in nature.
Praise for The Choke
‘By turns lyrical and brutal, The Choke is equal parts Greek tragedy and heart-breaking noir.’ – The Irish Times
‘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
‘[Laguna] 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. Beauty and ugliness sit squatly side by side.’ – The Big Issue
‘Utterly addictive’ – The Herald Sun
‘The Choke is a compassionate and claustrophobic vision of a child in danger and a society in trouble and celebrates above all the indomitable nature of the human spirit.’ The Book Podcast