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 still underneath my fingernails. Themes of isolation and xenophobia and heartbreak and loss are universal, but in a squeaky little corner of my soul, I still want to believe that The Paperbark Shoe had to be set in Western Australia, in Wyalkatchem, in 1943.
How long did it take you to write the book? How many drafts did you go through in the process of polishing it?
When I ...