Toads' Museum of Freaks and Wonders (New Issues Poetry & Prose) (Hardcover)

By Goldie Goldbloom

New Issues Poetry & Prose, 9781930974883, 323pp.

Publication Date: February 1, 2010



Winner of the AWP Award for the Novel

In the wake of a thwarted career as a concert pianist and the accompanying emotional fallout, Gin accepts a marriage proposal from the peculiar Mr. Toad. But nothing from the albino Gin Toad's upbringing in the bourgeois drawing rooms of Perth has prepared her for a hardscrabble existence on a subsistence farm in the Australian outback.

In her Wyalkatchem exile, she explores what it means to be a mother and wife, an underappreciated musician, and the town freak. She walks on eggshells to accomodate the cantankerous Toad and comes to accept her life without independence, music, or love--until Antonio arrives.

The Italian POWs forced into the Toads' service change the landscape of Gin's world. She is haunted by the memory of her first child's death; Antonio is exiled from a country and family he cherishes, banished to Western Australia while WWII threatens all he holds dear. In their mutual isolation and loss, the growing intimacy between Gin and Antonio becomes their escape from hardship--but will it also be their undoing?

About the Author

GOLDIE GOLDBLOOM'S fiction has appeared or is forthcoming in StoryQuarterly, Narrative and Prairie Schooner, as well as in anthologies in Australia and the USA. She won the 2008 AWP Novel Award and the Jerusalem Post International Fiction Prize. Her stories have been translated into more than ten languages. She lives in Chicago with her eight children.