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 help for farmers until the...
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