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The Sooterkin

On a squally afternoon in the winter of 1821 Sarah Dyer gives birth to the strangest child ever seen in Van Diemen’s Land, a thing more seal than human. The Reverend Mr Kidney at first suspects a virgin birth. Mr Sculley, an anatomist and man of science, hails it as the antipodean answer to the elusive Dutch sooterkin.

The pup is a joy to its parents and a welcome companion to the their nine-year-old son, Ned. But when a well-dressed stranger arrives bearing a modest proposal for the infant’s future, no-one foresees the trouble that lies ahead. The Sooterkin is a vividly imagined and wickedly funny tale of an upside-down world turned inside out.

Tom Gilling
About the Author

Tom Gilling was born in England in 1961 and emigrated to Australia in 1983. His first book, The Sooterkin, was critically acclaimed, and was named a New York Times Notable Book in 2000. He followed up with Miles McGinty, which was published around the world. Dreamland is his third novel, and sees Tom Gilling head in an exciting new direction.

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Text publication date:
1 April 1999
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Praise for Tom Gilling
andThe Sooterkin

‘As fantastical as anything in the writings of Garcia Marquez, an elating experience, it’s a rare delight to see such an accomplished novelist emerge fully formed.’

‘Extraordinary; a compelling read.’

Other editions ofThe Sooterkin
  • The Sooterkin
    ISBN: 9781921834578
    1 April 1999
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