One Foot Wrong

A child is imprisoned in a house by her reclusive religious parents. Hester has never seen the outside world; her companions are Cat, Spoon, Door, Handle, Broom, and they all speak to her. Her imagination is informed by one book, an illustrated child's bible, and its imagery forms the sole basis for her capacity to make poetic connection.

One day Hester takes a brave Alice in Wonderland trip into the forbidden outside (at the behest of Handle - 'turn me turn me'), and this overwhelming encounter with light and sky and sunshine is a marvel to her. From this moment on, Hester learns the concept of the secret, and not telling, and the world becomes something that fills her with feeling as if she is a vessel, empty and bottomless for need of it.

The story told by Hester in One Foot Wrong is often dark and terrible, but the sheer blazing brilliance of her language and the imagery that illuminates the pages make this novel an exhilarating, enlightening and joyous act of faith. The stars shine brightest out of the deepest dark.

A novel for adults published by Allen and Unwin

Long-listed for the Miles Franklin Award 2009
Short-listed for the Prime Minister’s Literary Award 2009

Praise for One Foot Wrong

‘An authentic voice, an evocation of childhood and memory that, for all its terrors, evokes the sublime, tragic moment when innocence submits to experience. Laguna creates a world and a character and a language that we become immersed within. That she does it with a subject matter of such destructive cruelty, that she does it with such rigor and power, is a testament to her craft, skill, and maturity.’
- Christos Tsolkias, author of The Slap

‘Unique and utterly hypnotic’
- Emily Maguire, author of Taming the Beast

‘The language is pitch-perfect – it is the light in this dark tale…An engrossing exploration of the different ways people can find peace, the different ways humans respond to their environments, the small and large abuses that are constantly overlooked or allowed, and where that line lies.’
- Louise Swinn, The Age

‘Enriched with creative flair and a unique voice’
- Waterstone’s Books Quaterly

‘One Foot Wrong will at times take your breath away…the darkest yet most poignant Alice in Wonderland imaginable.’
- Media-Culture

‘…bold writing, where everything is new again: Hester’s adult word seen always through the endearing eyes of a child.’
- The Australian

‘One Foot Wrong is an extraordinary achievement. Hester’s voice is orginal and compelling’
- The Big Issue