The Choke is the brilliant and haunting new novel by Miles Franklin–winning author Sofie Laguna. Justine is a child navigating an often dark and uncaring world of male power and violence, in which grown-ups can’t be trusted and comfort can only be found in nature. Join Sofie as she speaks to Ailsa Piper about her compassionate and claustrophobic vision of a child in danger who must ultimately fight back, and reflects on how she weaved empathy and hope throughout the story.

Sofie Laguna (Australian)

Laguna, Sofie c Brigid Arnott.jpg

Sofie Laguna's second novel for adults, The Eye of the Sheep won the 2015 Miles Franklin Award. It was shortlisted for the Stella Prize and longlisted for the IMPAC Dublin International Book Award. Sofie’s first novel for adults, One Foot Wrong, published throughout Europe, the US and the UK, was longlisted for the Miles Franklin Award and shortlisted for the Prime Minister’s Literary Award. Sofie is now an award-winning author for both children and adults. Her 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’s recently released third novel for adults, The Choke, which was shortlisted for the Victorian Premier's Literary Awards.

Ailsa Piper (Australian)

Piper, Ailsa c Wendy McDougall.jpeg

Ailsa Piper is a storyteller, having worked as a playwright, dramaturg, director, actor, teacher, speaker and broadcaster. Writing highlights include being co-winner of the Patrick White Playwright's Award in 2001, and the publication in 2012 of her travel memoir, Sinning Across Spain. She has judged the NSW and Victorian Premiers Literary Awards seven times, and also performs Wordwalks, monologues celebrating poetry, walking and landscape. Ailsa is co-author, with Tony Doherty, of The Attachment: Letters From A Most Unlikely Friendship.