Saturday, April 28, 2007

The Forthcoming: Colin Channer - The Girl With The Golden Shoes

Colin Channer
The Girl With The Golden Shoes
Available Now!

The Girl with the Golden Shoes is a dazzling and picaresque novella of equal parts Gabriel Garcia Marquez, Mark Twain, and Bob Marley. Set in 1942, on the imagined island of San Carlos, a cultural cocktail of Trinidad, Cuba, and Jamaica, it tells the story of Estrella Thompson, a 14-year-old who's forced to fend for herself when she's banished from the isolated fishing village where she's lived all her life. Her crime? Wanting to read and write.

But Estrella is no victim. Neither is she an ordinary child. Prematurely ripe in body and mind, and contemptuous of the boundaries placed on her by gender, race, and social class, she takes the villagers' rejection as a chance to change her life. She wants to go to Europe, the place where everything interesting seems to happen, including the war, which she's heard about incessantly on rediffusion radio. But she has to get money for a ticket on a steamer, which means she has to get a job--which means she has to get a pair of shoes . . . and she's never worn a pair in her life.

Estrella's journey goes awry when she takes the wrong bus and ends up in a hostile town. From the one-armed madman who steals her belongings, to the lonely black truck driver who forces her to listen to his lecture on politics and race, to the Spanish Creole seducer who rides into her life on horseback, to the white soldiers who attempt to break her spirit--the characters that come into Estrella's life are as changed by her as she is by them.

The Girl with the Golden Shoes is a deftly written story that swims against the tide of cynicism that has come to dominate the best American fiction. Its propulsive plot is driven by a heroine who's too naive to back down and too smart to swap hope for disillusion as a central belief.


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