AustLit logo
Nullabri single work   essay   review  
Issue Details: First known date: 2017... 2017 Nullabri
The material on this page is available to AustLit subscribers. If you are a subscriber or are from a subscribing organisation, please log in to gain full access. To explore options for subscribing to this unique teaching, research, and publishing resource for Australian culture and storytelling, please contact us or find out more.

AbstractHistoryArchive Description

'The Choke is full of holes. I mean that literally, which is also to say (since we are talking about a novel) symbolically. It contains any number of insinuating references to wounds, ditches, gaps, and voids. The primary implication of these can be grasped if one recalls that ‘nothing’ was Elizabethan slang for female genitalia. Sofie Laguna’s narrator, a ten-year-old girl named Justine Lee, who has a nervous habit of thrusting her tongue in and out of the gap created by her missing teeth, is constantly being reminded that she has ‘no thing’. In the masculine world of knives and guns she inhabits, the secondary status this lack bestows upon her is reinforced in all kinds of subtle and not-so-subtle ways, often with an element of innuendo and menace. On the very first page, one of her two older brothers threatens to shoot her with his slingshot in the ‘hole’ of her gummy mouth if she smiles. Shortly after a scene in which she is attacked by an aggressive rooster named Cockyboy, which slashes her face, the idea that her femaleness is not simply a deficiency but a form of mutilation is made explicit when Jamie, the teenaged scion of the rival Worrley family, attacks her on the way to school, having first taunted her by grabbing at her skirt and calling out ‘show us your scar’.' (Introduction)

Publication Details of Only Known VersionEarliest 2 Known Versions of

  • Appears in:
    y separately published work icon Australian Book Review ABR no. 394 September 2017 11676807 2017 periodical issue

    'For decades, centuries, millennia, homosexuals (here as elsewhere) have been insulted, blackmailed, beaten, incarcerated, and murdered. Even now, homophobia and violence towards homosexuals remain principal causes of suicide and despair in our society, especially among young males. In numerous countries, homosexual acts are illegal and punishable by death or imprisonment. Remember those two young men in Aceh – our neighbour and ally – who were flogged and reviled in public? Only a fool or a bigot would suggest that homosexuals have never had it so good.' (Editorial)

    pg. 12-13
Last amended 26 Sep 2017 13:58:54
12-13 Nullabrismall AustLit logo Australian Book Review
  • The Choke Sofie Laguna , 2017 single work novel
    Powered by Trove