We've all experienced the loneliness of exclusion. If we differ too much, veer too far from society's expectations, we're considered inferior in some way. And if we're inferior we may be ostracized, ridiculed, taunted, even distrusted or shunned outright. The desire to make ourselves feel more important by bringing others down is a sad truth of the human race, a universal theme, just as the hurt we receive at the hands of others can last a lifetime.
Fiction is filled with examples of outsiders and those who ostracize them. In The Paperbark Shoe
(originally published in hardcover as Toads' Museum of Freaks and Wonders
), Goldie Goldbloom uses WWII - the ultimate example of prejudice - as a backdrop, making it authentically specific to Australia with the inclusion of Italian prisoners of war, distrusted and excluded, who were sent to Australia to provide free...
Beyond the Book
Australian author Goldie Goldbloom discusses her debut novel, The Paperbark Shoe
, with Lisa Guidarini. The following are selected excerpts from the full interview.
You chose to set the book in your native Australia. Do you believe it would have been as effective if the setting had been, say, the 1930s Dust Bowl in the United States, or was the Australian setting essential?
I'm always excited when someone asks me a question that I haven't been asked before, especially one that makes me think deeply. I don't know enough about rural America to write well about it. The red dirt of Australia is...